Magazine article Global Finance

Fast Mover: César González-Bueno, Gulf Bank

Magazine article Global Finance

Fast Mover: César González-Bueno, Gulf Bank

Article excerpt

It's been nearly a year since César González-Bueno took the helm at Gulf Bank, and it's clear the company's new chief executive hit the ground running. Global Finance interviewed González-Bueno in his Kuwait office, where he spoke about the bank's resurgence since the financial crisis- and his plans to dramatically expand the company's footprint and boost profits over the next five years. By AI Emid

Global Finance: How do you feel about the direction the bank is headed in now? Obviously, the bank has had some problems in the past

González-Bueno: The bank has been cleaned up. 1 think my predecessors, including the regulator, have done a phenomenal job. The bank is on its feet. You look at the major figures and they reflect that. Because of the high provisioning in the past, many of our assets have more value than their book value.

So the good thing about the bank is that it's not only very well-provisioned now, but that on top of that, you have assets that have more value than what is reflected in the books.

[The bank is] more solvent than even the numbers reflect, which is why we are getting a lot of traction with rating agencies. It's because of this new situation of the bank, of being "clean," that the board decided that it wanted to go more to what we could call a growth model.

GF: So are you talking about expanding the product line or hiking the number of branches. Or are you talking about more acquisitions?

González-Bueno: We are in the process of implementing them and finalizing them- research, implementation and so forth. And there are several sources, there is not only one source of growth. …

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