RIYADH Feb 23 The Middle East branch of
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's
biggest lending bank, enjoyed surging profits and asset growth
in 2012, it said on Saturday, underscoring increasingly close
economic ties between Beijing and the Gulf.
The bank's Middle East unit, based in Dubai, said pre-tax
profit surged 69 percent in 2012 from 2011 to $54 million, while
operating income jumped 47 percent to $72 million.
Total assets at end of 2012 were $3.96 billion, a rise of 29
percent over the same figure at the end of 2011, it said in an
Annual trade between China and the UAE grew fifteen-fold to
$37 billion from 2000 to 2011, Hong Kong Monetary Authority
chief executive Norman Chan told China's official Xinhua news
agency last month.
Most of that trade is conducted in dollars, but a growing
proportion is also starting to be carried out in yuan. Earlier
this month, Dubai's largest bank, Emirates NBD, said
it had started offering yuan accounts.
(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Nick Macfie)