UAE-based First Gulf Bank is considering to expand its business into three or four new foreign markets in 2014, to achieve double-digit profits from its International operations, according to First Gulf Bank CEO Andre Sayegh.

As part of its plans, the bank is looking to obtain banking licenses in China and South Korea, which could be followed by Indonesia and London.

The bank currently has an international presence in Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Libya. These businesses contribute around 7% of profits.

Sayegh said they look to achieve their double-digit profit growth on a quarterly basis and through strong balance sheet.

"The bank has Dhs180 billion in assets – you can command a certain level of profitability by managing the balance sheet line by line," Sayegh added.

"GDP is growing at a rate of four per cent. The banking sector and economy drive each other. We have the ingredients for the economy to become more diversified."

In September 2013, Sayegh told Reuters that they might bid for Barclays’ retail banking business in the UAE.