National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) is to take its first step out of the UAE with plans to establish a subsidiary in Hong Kong.
The lender, which has gained market share from bigger rivals by specialising in niche sectors such as precious metals, has signed an agreement with Wells Fargo of the United States to boost its trade finance business among Asian exporters.
NBF is seeking to provide goods from China with a faster route to the UAE by reducing the time it takes to process payments.
The bank was hoping to capitalise on increased trade links between the UAE and Asia, said RSRangan, NBF's head of trade services.
"Economic ties between the UAE and Asia have been growing from strength to strength and we are keen to use our presence in Hong Kong to facilitate cross-border flows," he said.
Wells Fargo, which is providing trade processing facilities to NBF, has attempted to expand its Asian operations with hundreds of new hires as other American banks retreat from Hong Kong.
UAE banks have taken big steps into Asia this year.
The Emirates' two biggest banks joined Union National Bank, which has operated in Shanghai since 2009.