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NBAD seeks to raise €1bn from European investors

National Bank of Abu Dhabi plans to raise 1 billion from European investors as the United Arab Emirates' largest lender expands.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi plans to raise 1 billion from European investors as the United Arab Emirates' largest lender expands.

NBAD-Paris, the French unit of the Abu Dhabi-based lender, this week started a one-year certificate of deposit program in euros, British pounds, US dollars and Swiss francs to raise money from euro zone companies and asset managers.

"NBAD-Paris is growing and has more and more assets in France, and it is always a good policy to match assets with liabilities," Reynald Nicod, treasurer at NBAD-Paris, said on Wednesday. "As we expand in France and Europe, we feel it's a good idea to use local liquidity to diversify our sources of funding."

NBAD, with US$82bn in assets, is among banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council moving abroad as small local populations limit growth opportunities. The bank this year appointed Alex Thursby, former chief executive for international and institutional banking at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, as chief executive and said it plans to expand in Asia.

The bank is also selling bonds in currencies from the Mexican peso to Malaysia's ringgit to tap wider investor pools and reduce dollar risk. NBAD this year sold 15-year so-called Uridashi bonds to Japanese retail investors denominated in Mexican pesos, after selling 300 million Australian dollars of Kangaroo bonds. It also issued a 500 million Malaysian ringgit Islamic bond late last year.

Although NBAD is a "very liquid bank" and has "no dedicated use" for the money raised through the CDS programme, it will "enhance the bank's liquidity as a whole and diversify our sources of funding," Mr Nicod said. NBAD-Paris holds property and corporates loans, as well as trade finance assets in France, he said.

* Bloomberg News

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