First Abu Dhabi Bank
First Abu Dhabi Bank has identified China as a big growth market in the making for its international operations. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: One of the Gulf’s biggest financial institutions, FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank) will be opening a branch in Shanghai – its first on mainland China. The new base will provide both Renminbi and foreign currency business in China.

“Our extended footprint in Asia means we can better serve our clients through specialised offerings and deliver the next phase of our international strategy,” said Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of FAB.

The branch will likely go operational in the first quarter of 2022. It will be led by Arthur Zou, CEO of FAB China, who joined the Group last April. He had held several key positions in international banks across Europe and China.

The branch "paves the way for increased trade and investment flows between China and the UAE as well as MENA and Asia-Pacific, as FAB continues to build the foundation for sustainable growth and to drive the future of banking in the region," said a statement. The UAE is China's biggest non-oil trading partner in the MENA region, with UAE-China trade volumes reaching $50 billion and expected to touch $200 billion by 2030.

"With the expansion of our presence in Shanghai, FAB can now apply scale, expertise, and financial strength to accelerate collaboration across the priority industries of both nations," said Al Rostamani.

FAB had assets of Dh983 billion ($268 Billion) as of end September. It was ranked by Global Finance as the 'safest bank' in the UAE and the Middle East, and the 32nd safest bank globally.

FAB Shanghai is a platform to align FAB’s offerings with the economic potential of the Chinese market, allowing us to provide more tailor-made solutions to Chinese clients to support their growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - while opening a new gateway to the Chinese market for our MENA clients

- Clarence Singam-Zhou, Head of International Banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank