UPDATE 1-Dubai bank Mashreq sees 10-15 pct profit rise in 2013

Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:09am EST

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DUBAI Feb 12 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Dubai's Mashreq, the emirate's second-largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday he was "optimistic" about the bank's performance this year and expects profits to grow by between 10-15 percent.

Mashreq reported last week a 67-percent jump in net profits in 2012, on the back of lower provisioning and higher fee income.

While not reaching such heights this year, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair said the bank would still see healthy growth in earnings.

"I'm optimistic about our performance in 2013 ... profits will be anything between 10 to 15 percent higher," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

Ghurair said he was hopefully that provisioning at the bank would continue to recede in 2013 - they dropped to 826.5 million dirhams ($225 million) in 2012 from 1.2 billion dirhams in the previous year.

Dubai lenders were hit hard by impairments on bad loans in the wake of the a collapse in the local real estate market, which saw prices slump more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak, and the need for state-linked entities to restructure billion of dollars of debts.

However, most restructurings have been completed and recent months have seen signs of a recovery in Dubai's property market, leading to optimism the worst is behind the emirate's banking sector. ($1=3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Amena Bakr; Writing by David French; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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