New name and growth focus for First Gulf Bank
As it eyes international growth, First Gulf Bank yesterday announced a shift in its corporate identity that it expects will help it pull in more business outside of its domestic market. The Abu Dhabi-based bank said it would now be known simply as FGB, a move reminiscent of Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation’s transformation into HSBC, Europe’s largest bank.
“We have identified considerable opportunities across our operations and markets to grow and deliver superior performance,” said Andre Sayegh, the chief executive. “Our new brand is one of a set of key tools in achieving this growth and will serve as much more than an identity. It will be a catalyst for our future success, helping us to fully capitalise on the opportunities we see. Furthermore, the new brand signals our clear plans to grow – both in the UAE and throughout our international markets.”
Like some of its competitors, FGB is seeking to tap trade and investment flows between Asia, the Middle East and Africa, a commercial banking market that is valued at more than US$137 billion. The bank has a branch in Singapore and representative offices in Hong Kong and India. It is also looking to set up offices in South Korea and China in the next year or two, Mr Sayegh said.
FGB said it would retain its name in Arabic and no changes would be made to the bank as a legal entity.
The bank will tweak its logo with brighter colours and thicker lettering and adopt the slogan ‘Be First’.
“More than just a new tagline, ‘Be First’ is a new communications platform that will also support operational and cultural activities across the bank,” Mr Sayegh said. “We have developed a comprehensive set of corporate and brand values that ensure FGB consistently delivers performance, growth, service and adds value to its customers, shareholders, staff and all of our stakeholders.”
The lender reported a record profit last year amid the start of an economic recovery in the UAE, during which GDP grew more than 4 per cent. The bank’s net income rose to Dh4.77bn last year from Dh4.15bn in 2012. And its dividend payout this year is up 20 per cent from last year’s 83 fils per share. At a shareholder meeting in February, the bank approved a plan to distribute a dividend of Dh1 a share, after its profit gained 15 per cent last year. The dividend payment will equal a total of Dh3bn.
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