Dubai: Emirates NBD raised Dh6.45 billion ($1.76 billion) through a rights issue that saw higher demand from investors abroad, after the top lender recently raised its foreign ownership limit.

The call for capital was oversubscribed by about 2.8 times, as investors from abroad, the UAE and rest of the Middle East rushed to subscribe in the bank’s share capital increase, resulting in total funded commitments in excess of Dh18 billion.

“Overall demand from the bank’s rights issue from non-UAE investors was in excess of Dh11 billion, equivalent to 62.6 per cent of the total funded commitments from all investors received on November 20, driven by the recent increase in Emirates NBD’s foreign ownership limit,” the bank said in a statement.

The lender, which has been looking to get approvals from shareholders and regulators to boost its foreign ownership limit to 40 per cent, was able to increase its foreign ownership cap to 20 per cent from 5 per cent after having obtained the required regulatory approvals.

The banks’ plan to up the foreign stake comes after First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC in July proposed removing a cap on the foreign ownership limit on its shares.

Emirates NBD, which is already listed on the Dubai bourse, had investors subscribe for an additional 758.8 million shares, issued at a price of Dh8.5 per share. However, the rights issue traded at a significant discount, closing at a price of Dh2.9 on the last day of trading — November 14.