(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank plans to grow double in the next few years, as it expands into Abu Dhabi aggressively.
"We're in the growth phase in the history of the Bank"we believe there is good opportunity for the Bank to double itself in the next few years," Paul Trowbridge, the chief executive officer of United Arab Bank said.
Briefing newsmen about his bank's 53 per cent growth in the last 18-months, the chief executive said: "We've the opportunity to be a more bigger player in the market then we are at the moment."
The chief executive said his bank which focused on corporate and commercial business was under represented in the capital. He hoped that a lot of UAB's future growth will come from Abu Dhabi.
Shahid Akhtar Balouch, EVP and Group Head- Commercial Banking said: "The corporate loan book is growing like the retail book, as Dubai's economy was showing signs of early recovery. The recovery is coming from manufacturing industries, firms providing services, transport, logistics and warehousing."
In Abu Dhabi, Balouch said contracting business was doing extremely well due to huge infrastructure construction in the Western region, where dozens of mega projects are currently construction including railways, emirati housing, highways and educational institutions.
UAB is investing Dh40 million on its Abu Dhabi expansion programme under which in the second quarter three more branches will be opened up in Marina Square on Reem Island, in Al Zeina at Al Raha Beech and in Khalifa City, said Tom Smith EVP Group head-Retail Banking. "Two branches will be opened in Sharjah in June," he said.
"Abu Dhabi is a strategic focus for United Arab Bank and our branch expansion reinforces our presence and commitment towards the emirate of Abu Dhabi. We see huge potential for growth in the capital across both the corporate and retail arms of our business," Shaikh Faisal said at the opening of UAB's newest branch in Abu Dhabi.
The branch, located on Airport Road, was inaugurated by Shaikh Suroor bin Mohammad Al Nahyan.
He added that UAB is rapidly expanding its branch network and by the end of 2012 the bank will have a total of twenty branches, servicing all seven Emirates.
"Over the past three years we have doubled our branch network, grown our retail business by more than 300 per cent and repositioned the bank as a serious contender in a highly competitive market," said Trowbridge.
UAB reported a record net profit of Dh330 million in 2011.
The bank's first quarter results reinforce the bank's growth trajectory with year-on-year operating profit growth up 38 per cent.