FAB secures custody licence from Egypt's market regulator

The approval will allow the Abu Dhabi lender to become a member of the country’s central securities depositary

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 15, 2020.  FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank) building along Khalifa Bin Zayed The First Street.
Victor Besa/The National
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First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE’s largest lender by assets, secured a custody licence from Egypt's regulator, the Financial Regulatory Authority.

The licence will facilitate membership of the country’s central securities depositary, Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR), allowing the lender to settle and clear trades on the Egyptian Exchange.

The move comes after FAB said last month it would buy the Egyptian subsidiary of Lebanon's Bank Audi, including its local custody franchise, for an undisclosed sum.

"We will offer domestic investors a full range of world class post-trade solutions, with our direct MCDR connectivity at its core," said Kashif Darr, managing director & head of securities services.

"We will also intermediate international capital flows into this strategic market, as part of our regional direct custody platform."

Egypt is FAB's fourth direct custody market within its Middle East network. The lender provides custody services in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt. It also plans to launch services in Qatar and Kuwait.

FAB's deal to acquire the Egyptian operations of Bank Audi will make it one of the largest foreign lenders by assets in the Arab world's most populous country and North Africa's largest economy.

Bank Audi Egypt has 53 branches with total assets of $5.3 billion at the end of September. FAB already has 17 branches in Egypt.