Kuwait lender eyes China business amid Gulf saturation
Deteriorating conditions at home forcing Gulf’s 10th-largest bank abroad
Kuwaiti bank KFH is looking to open branches in China and Egypt, CEO Mazin Saad Al-Nahedh said on Sunday, reports Bloomberg.
“There are opportunities for a Kuwaiti bank to operate in China,” Al-Nahedh said. “We’ve thought about it because of China’s emergence, obvious importance to the world economy. We’re reaching saturation, particularly in the GCC banking system.”
KFH is also “cautiously optimistic” about its operations in Turkey, with its subsidiary Kuveyt Turk contributing 22% to the group’s bottom line as of the end of June. Big infrastructure projects and good growth on the SME side are driving opportunities in the country.
Al-Nahedh also spoke on the possibility of buying Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank BSC, with one person familiar with the matter saying KFH is in talks to buy the bank, a move which would create one of the Middle East’s largest Islamic lenders with around US$85 billion in assets.