Dubai: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE's largest bank by assets is planning to start talks with two Israeli banks, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi for financial co-opearation, the bank said in a tweet.
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Central Bank and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) will open discussions with leading financial institutions in Israel, namely Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, FAF said in a tweet.
“The discussions will look to establish banking relationships that will strengthen financial and economic cooperation between UAE and Israel, focusing on correspondent banking, bilateral trade, and technology and innovation,” FAB said.
- Unveiled: 5-in-1 products form new 'Samsung ecosystem'
- 75 cities: Emirates flying to these destinations
- Tourism inching back to normal in Greece's Areopoli amid COVID-19
- Meet the billionaires who dropped out of college (or Ph.D.)
- Here is a look at the recent Forbes list of top Women Behind Middle Eastern Brand 2020
The decision follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UAE central bank and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the FAB tweet said.
Normalisation of relations
The UAE and Israel started normalising relations last month. As part of the process, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. on Monday operated an unprecedented commercial flight to the UAE with senior U.S. and Israeli officials aboard.
Last week there were talks of potential business partnership between Dubai’s leading bank Emirates NBD and Bank Leumi of Israel, according to market sources.
Emirates NBD did not comment on the reports when approached by Gulf News.
Following the abolishing the Federal Law No. 15 of 1972 regarding boycotting Israel analysts expects expansion of diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel.
“The formalization of ties with the State of Israel through this new law will pave way for more businesses in both countries to explore business opportunities,” said an analyst.
Credit rating agency Moody’s said last week the normalization of ties would be mutually beneficial to both countries in terms of business and scientific cooperation.
“This [the normalized relations] will have important economic and geopolitical ramifications for both sovereigns, with the UAE particularly benefiting from enhanced tourism and transportation opportunities, while the formalisation of ties will support Israel’s improving security situation,” said Thaddeus Best an analyst at Moody’s.
Analysts said with the law in place making the diplomatic and business relations now official, more business negotiations and co-operation agreements are likely the days ahead.
According to Israel’s Economy Ministry, the normalisation of ties could increase exports to the UAE to $300-$500 million annually (0.3%-0.4% of Israeli exports), and UAE investments in Israel could reach $350 million a year (1.9% of inbound foreign direct investment). Israel will also benefit from access to more secure oil supplies.