DUBAI (Reuters) – HSBC Middle East, which had to sharply boost credit provisions in the first half of the year, sees the trend in non-performing loans holding steady over the next six months, its chief executive said on Monday.
Simon Cooper, who is also deputy chairman, said the bank would likely hold provisions at current levels.
“It’s fair to say the worst is over,” he said at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.
HSBC Middle East saw its first half loan impairment charges and credit risk provisions jump to $391 million from $41 million a year earlier.
“The trend in NPL is to continue for some months to come, the next six months or so,” Cooper said. “Provisioning levels will stay where they are.”
Cooper, who was appointed to the top job at the bank in March, said he did not see a liquidity shortfall in the country. Earlier this month, Standard Chartered’s Middle East head said UAE banks were facing a shortfall of up to $11 billion.
“I don’t see a shortage of liquidity,” Cooper said.