ABU DHABI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - First Gulf Bank, the second largest lender by market capitalisation in the United Arab Emirates, plans to make a benchmark foreign currency bond issue in the next 12 months, chief executive Andre Sayegh said on Monday.
"There will be a bond issuance in the coming 12 months. It is for balance sheet management," Sayegh told reporters.
He also said the bank expected to post double-digit loan growth in the next 12 months. "Loan growth is picking up and some major projects are coming up."
Sayegh said FGB aimed to open a representative office in China in the coming 12 months. The office is expected eventually to be upgraded to a branch, he added. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Writing by Andrew Torchia)