By Eman Goma
National Bank of Kuwait has obtained initial nod of Syrian, Kuwaiti monetary bodies.
National Bank of Kuwait, the country's biggest lender, has obtained outline approval to operate in Syria, its chief executive was quoted by the state news agency as saying."We, in the NBK, have decided to establish a bank in Syria. We have already obtained the initial approval of Syrian and Kuwaiti monetary authorities," Ibrahim Dabdoub told KUNA late on Wednesday.
Dabdoub did not give a time frame for the move, but told KUNA that it could take at least a year.
NBK has been expanding to offset rising competition at home by buying Al-Watany Bank of Egypt and a 40 percent stake in Istanbul-based Turkish Bank in 2007. It is also active in Qatar through affiliate International Bank of Qatar.
The bank said in January that it plans to raise its capital by 10 percent through a rights issue by the end of the year to fund expansion. (Reuters)