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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 19 August 2018

DIFC signs cooperation deal with China Everbright Group

Chinese state-owned banking giant eyes expansion in the Middle East and Asia

DIFC signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese state-owned China Everbright Group to support its expansion in the region. Sarah Dea / The National
DIFC signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese state-owned China Everbright Group to support its expansion in the region. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai International Financial Centre, the emirate’s financial free zone, has signed an agreement with Chinese state-owned China Everbright Group to collaborate on opportunities related to the $5 trillion-plus Belt and Road Initiative.

The memorandum of understanding is also intended to support CEG’s business development plans across the Middle East and South Asia (Measa) region, the two parties said in a statement on Saturday. The parties did not specify exactly what the MoU is for.

“The synergies between China and the UAE go from strength to strength and Dubai has proven to be the ideal location from which we can access the potential of the fast-growing emerging markets in Measa,” said Li Xiaopeng, China’s minister of transport and the chairman of CEG.

“Our agreement with DIFC is the natural next step in our global expansion strategy."

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CEG has operations across banking, securities, insurance, funds, asset management, futures, and investment management. It reported a net profit of $6.16bn for the full-year 2017 and operating income of $19.93bn. Its total assets for 2017 stood at $660bn.

“Through our collaboration with China Everbright Group, we believe the DIFC is perfectly positioned to facilitate significant opportunities as part of the Belt and Road Initiative," said DIFC governor Essa Kazim.

DIFC recorded 30.5 per cent year-on-year growth in the total value of assets held by Chinese financial institutions registered within the free zone in the third quarter of 2017 to $33.4bn, it said. It is the regional home of China’s four largest banks and other corporations including PetroChina, Shanghai Electric Investment, ZTE Corporation, and others.

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