ADCB sets up shop in London

ADCB’s expansion is in line with a number of other Abu Dhabi banks, including FGB and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which have offices or are planning to open in London.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) is opening a representative office in London, the first of its kind for the lender as UAE banks branch out beyond their overcrowded home turf. London, which vies with New York for the title of the world’s financial centre, is also home to one of the world’s largest Islamic bond markets and has attracted UAE companies such as Damac to list on its stock exchange in the past year.

ADCB’s expansion is in line with a number of other Abu Dhabi banks, including FGB and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which have offices or are planning to open in London with the aim of winning business from corporations with cross-border needs.

“ADCB’s clients are increasingly operating in international markets,” said Colin Fraser, the executive vice president and head of wholesale banking at ADCB. “We find that both large and small-scale clients are now, more than ever, present in markets outside of the UAE. London is one of the largest financial centres in the world and the opening of our representative office in the city is in line with our client-centric growth strategy as we look to build a more global presence.”

The office is located in London’s main financial district at 30 St Mary’s Axe and opened officially for business last Wednesday.

ADCB said it plans to open additional representative offices in other strategic key markets over the coming years to capitalise on global economic trade and investment flows from enterprises looking to the UAE market for business opportunities. The bank’s London office will focus primarily on so-called wholesale, the department that provides the bank’s corporate clients with financing through loans, bonds and other forms of capital-raising.

UAE banks are increasingly expanding beyond the Emirates as competition stiffens. There are more than 50 banks in the country, serving a population of 9 million. FGB said earlier this year that it is planning to open representative offices in South Korea and China as well as London as part of its expansion plans, while National Bank of Abu Dhabi has stated its desire to capture trade and investment flows between Asia, the Middle East and Africa, a commercial banking market valued at more than US$137 billion.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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