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Fri 11 Mar 2011 11:07 AM

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Loan impairments easing in Gulf, says Standard Chartered

British lender says it is bullish on Middle East’s prospects, despite political uprisings

Loan impairments easing in Gulf, says Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered Bank. (Getty Images)

Credit quality and bank liquidity has improved in the Gulf following a sharp ease in loan impairment charges last year, the global CEO of Standard Chartered Bank said.

“I think there is generally an improvement [in the] situation with regards to credit quality across the region,” Peter Sands, group chief executive at Standard Chartered Bank said at a press conference in Dubai.

The bank saw net profit in the Middle East and South Asia region more than double to $841m in 2010, aided by an improving loan portfolio.  

“We saw sharp improvement in loan impairment charges in 2010 versus 2009, which was one reason why we had such a marked increase in profit,” Sands said.

Standard Chartered saw income in the UAE soar to more than $1bn in 2010, a rise of six percent on the year-earlier period.

Despite widespread political unrest in the Middle East wiping $140bn off the region’s largest stock exchanges, Sands said he remained bullish on the year ahead.

“Political changes loom large and are significant developments but, from an economic perspective and a business perspective, I remain very confident about the outlook for the region this year,” he said.

The British bank said this week it would invest $140m in the construction of new 13-tower premises in central Dubai.

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Ravish Kumar A 9 years ago

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