Top 100 for Emirates NBD




Emirates NBD has set its sights on being one of the top 100 banks in the world by profitability, using organic as well as inorganic geographical growth and strengthening its market position, Chief Executive Rick Pudner said.

In his first major interview after the Middle East’s largest bank by assets was created from the integration of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD) last year, Pudner said the lender continues to be “in investment mode” for expansion and will consolidate and enhance its corporate banking and wealth management services around the world.

An abortive bid for a Turkish lender last year has not deterred Emirates NBD from pursuing other inorganic growth opportunities in future, he said.

Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi will receive priority investment for organic expansion of the Emirates NBD branch network this year.

The bank has one branch in Saudi Arabia. When the merger was announced in March 2007, it had 13 branches in Abu Dhabi – of which two were NBD’s and 11 belonged to EBI. From a total of 99 branches in March 2007, Emirates NBD has already expanded to more than 110. Other countries on the lender’s expansion radar are Singapore and India, both of which currently have a representative office each. Singapore will be upgraded to branch status, probably this month, Pudner said.

“We are looking at India and we are looking at other areas in the Middle East for organic as well as inorganic expansion opportunities. Potentially, the degree of growth that is achievable by a financial institution based in the GCC is significantly greater than one from Europe or the United States,” he told Emirates Business.

Outside the UAE, Emirates NBD has branches in London, Jersey, Channel Islands and Doha. Representative offices include the one established in Tehran in 2002.

Expansion of the bank’s network is part of a seven-prong growth strategy that includes enhanced profitability, the chief executive said. “We rank, I think, at the moment about 198th in the world in terms of profitability. The target is to get in the top 100,” he said.