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Al Rajhi Bank Plans to Expand Into Kuwait and Jordan

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s biggest publicly traded lender, plans to expand into Kuwait and Jordan, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Al Rajhi said.

The bank will open a branch in Kuwait before the end of this year, Al Rajhi told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco, today.

The bank has plans “for more than one branch in Jordan,” Al Rajhi said, without elaborating. He also said the lender has no current plans to expand into other countries in the region. The bank has 20 branches in Malaysia.

Al Rajhi said on Oct. 12 that its net income in the third quarter fell to 1.64 billion ($440 million) Saudi riyals compared with 1.8 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier.

The chief executive said that he expects banks in the oil-rich kingdom to increase lending in 2011. He declined to elaborate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Marrakesh at asalha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler at lmeixler@bloomberg.net

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