Kuwait's KFH plans to drop assets of about 100 million dinars this year - CEO

KUWAIT, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Kuwait Finance House (KFH) , the country’s largest Islamic bank, plans to shed assets worth about 100 million dinars ($329.5 million) in 2020 as it finalises the acquisition of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank .

The step to exit assets including real estate, stocks and other direct investments comes “as part of KFH’s strategy to focus on the core business” of the bank, CEO Mazin Al-Nahedh said on Tuesday.

He said no profit would likely be made from the exits.

KFH has sold assets worth 137 million dinars in 2019 and achieved a profit of 40.1 million dinars, Nahedh said.

KFH said this week it registered a net profit of 60.5 million dinars in the fourth quarter last year, up from 58.3 million one year earlier.

After the acquisition of Ahli United Bank, the Gulf’s first major cross-border bank merger in recent years, the new entity will have assets of $101 billion and shareholder equity of $10.5 billion, with an annual forecast profit of $1.5 billion, KFH’s chairman said earlier this month. ($1 = 0.3035 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy, writing by Davide Barbuscia; editing by David Evans)