Citigroup granted licence to operate branch at ADGM
Citigroup received a licence to establish a branch at Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate’s fast-growing financial hub, as the global lender looks to expand its regional presence.
The new Citi branch will provide liquidity management solutions to clients looking to establish regional treasury centres in the UAE.
Upon receiving final approval the from Financial Services Regulatory Authority, which oversees the ADGM, the branch will also provide institutional banking services to its customers around the globe, the lender said yesterday.
The branch will boost Citi’s banking capacity in the UAE, where the lender has been offering wholesale and retail banking services since 1964. The licence was granted during Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat’s visit to the ADGM.
“The UAE is an important market with tremendous potential for Citi,” said Elissar Farah Antonios, Citi’s country officer for the UAE. “The ADGM platform complements our footprint in the region and enables us to engage in a wide spectrum of wholesale banking business out of Abu Dhabi.”
Global lenders are strengthening their positions in the Arabian Gulf region, which is home to about a third of the world’s proven oil reserves, as GCC governments transform their economies and take measures to cut dependence on crude for revenues.
Citi also plans to return to Saudi Arabia after an absence of more than 13 years and has applied for a licence to operate in the kingdom.
If successful, Citi could also pursue with the Saudi central bank permission for a full bank branch licence, potentially joining other banks such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, according to Reuters.
Citi is in 25 markets across the Middle East and Africa region. Its services include corporate and investment banking, capital markets, sales and trading, transactions services, private banking and Islamic banking operations. The lender also offers consumer banking services in the UAE and Bahrain.
“ADGM will continue to support Citi and like-minded financial institutions in catering to the increasing establishment of regional treasury centers, which are seeking world-class expertise and innovative solutions,” said Richard Teng chief executive of the FSRA.
“I look forward to Citi adding to the vibrancy of the market and expanding the available banking and financial offerings.
“Together, we can better serve the institutions, investors and business community in the UAE and globally.”