Rising UAE-China trade spurs growth in DIFC
Dubai International Financial Centre, or DIFC said today that it has seen exponential growth in the presence of Chinese financial firms and state-owned banks in recent years. The global financial services hub, reaffirmed its commitment to supporting China's ' One Belt, One Road', pointed out that Chinese banks in DIFC have doubled their balance sheet in the last 18 months.
According to the Centre's 2015 full year Operating Review results, China's top four state-owned banks - Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, ICBC and China Construction Bank - have combined total assets of $21.5 billion. The four banks, representing 26 per cent of the total assets booked in DIFC, have additionally upgraded their licences at DIFC to Category 1, expanding their presence from subsidiary to branch status.
DIFC, which welcomed 309 new companies in 2015, up almost 28 per cent from the year before, with growth among financial services firms surging by 13 per cent, said the financial hub is continuing discussions with two Chinese banks to set up operations at DIFC. In 2015, Chinese financial firms were increasingly active on DIFC's global financial exchange. Bank of China (BOC) listed a two billion yuan bond (Dh1.18 billion) on Nasdaq Dubai in July 2015 to support cross-border trade and infrastructure activities, while Agricultural Bank of China, listed a 1 billion yuan bond (Dh590 million) in 2014.
Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, said the financial hub is committed to building long-lasting partnerships with the emerging Chinese market. "Contributing to a large portion of our business activity, we envisage an increasingly significant role for Chinese firms as we seek to become a leading global financial hub."