National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) is looking to tap into increasing trade flows between Asia and the UAE, with the establishment of its first overseas subsidiary in Hong Kong.
The bank yesterday announced the establishment of NBF Trade Services (HKG), in conjunction with Wells Fargo, following the signing of an initial agreement between the two institutions last October.
“The Hong Kong subsidiary is a significant step towards raising our international profile and establishing us across strategic global trading links, said Vince Cook, NBF’s chief executive. “Our Hong Kong subsidiary comes at a time when cross-border flows between the UAE and China are expanding at a rapid pace, making it the perfect platform to springboard our clients into the thick of the action.”
Trade between China and the UAE has increased tenfold over the past decade, reaching US$15.6 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 10 per cent, according to figures from Standard Chartered.
“[Our new subsidiary] is also a welcome extension to the successful and strategic partnership that exists between NBF and Wells Fargo, and I thank them once again for their ongoing support as we make further inroads into new markets,” said Mr Cook.
The launch of the subsidiary was announced during Sibos 2013, a transactional banking conference organised by the international banking services provider Swift in Dubai and running from Monday to Thursday this week.
NBF Trade Services (HKG) will be a non-banking subsidiary that will utilise Wells Fargo’s trade processing capabilities. It will facilitate the reissuance of import letters of credit to beneficiaries in Asia, providing NBF customers with easier access to their trading partners in this region and reducing turnaround time for payments, documentation and the delivery of goods.
“Wells Fargo has been a longstanding supporter of National Bank of Fujairah and this latest development signals our ongoing commitment to one of the more recognisable names in the UAE banking sector,” said Shoar Hassan, Wells Fargo’s regional manager, Middle East and North Africa, global financial institutions. “We are confident that our strong trade processing capabilities, coupled with our extensive network, will enhance NBF’s efforts in bridging Asia and the Middle East.”