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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Mashreq launches $1bn in multi-currency CDs programme in Hong Kong

Dubai-based lender plans to boost its presence in fast growing Asian markets

The outlook for Arabian Gulf banks is sunnier in 2018. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The outlook for Arabian Gulf banks is sunnier in 2018. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Mashreq Bank has launched a $1 billion programme for issuing multi-currency certificates of deposits in Hong Kong as the Dubai-lender seeks to expand its presence in the fast growing Asian markets amid the UAE's bid to forge closer ties with the region's biggest economy, China.

“Mashreq Bank has been raising its profile in the region for some time now,” said Jan-Willem Sudmann, head of international banking group at Mashreq.

“We first established a presence in Hong Kong in 1978 and have been steadily growing in recent years. The introduction of this CD programme will entice more institutional investors across Asia Pacific to consider Mashreq as serious partner for their operations in the region.”

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The CD programme, which has been assigned a short term rating of P-2 by Moody’s Investor Relations, will raise funds in US dollar, euro, and Asian currencies including the renminbi, when needed, Mashreq said, without giving further details on the duration or interest rates.

Mr Sudmann told The National last year that Mashreq is aiming to boost its international business in countries including China, India and Egypt to diversify the lender’s source of income away from the oil-dependent nations of the Arabian Gulf that have been hit hard in recent years by low hydrocarbon prices.

At the same time, UAE and China have been fostering closer ties in the wake of a three-day official visit to China in December 2015 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

During that trip, Mubadala Investment Company said it would launch a joint fund worth $10bn with two Chinese state institutions to invest in sectors with strategic importance for the UAE and China.

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