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By Adedapo Adesanya

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has expanded its operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the official launch of its new branch at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

UBA Plc (DIFC Branch) will operate under the Category 4 license and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency for the special economic zone.

DIFC’s UBA branch will serve corporate and financial institutions and customers across the Middle East, with a focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.

According to a press release on Monday, the lender noted that “through this new expansion, UBA Group will be able to tap into opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which include 72 country with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of $7.7 trillion and thereby strengthen its strong franchise as Africa’s global bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.

Speaking at the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai, UBA Group Chairman Mr. Tony Elumelu explained that with the group’s foray into the Gulf region, UBA continues to focus on its strategic intent to lead the way when it comes to doing business. in Africa.

“Working with our franchises in 20 African countries and major financial centers in London, New York and Paris, UBA (DIFC Branch) will facilitate the financing of trade transactions between the Middle East and Africa, enabling trade finance and investments,” Elumelu said. said.

“We have been looking forward to this day because it is the first time that we will be present in this part of the world. We know that our international expansion is incomplete if we are not present in the Gulf,” he continued.

On his part, UBA Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who also spoke at the event, said, “Today we are officially present on four continents around the world, operating in 24 countries, serving over 35 million customers and continuing to grow. ”

“We are the only Nigerian-origin bank that has expanded from Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates. Those who preceded us have passed through other places and this shows the strength and respect that the authorities in Dubai have for UBA. Our presence in Dubai confirms that UBA is a strong franchise, which is expanding its reach across the world.

“The authorities and the business environment here at DIFC are phenomenal and UBA sees Dubai as the gateway to Africa and that is why we are here, to be closer to our customers, to partner with them and facilitating business and trade flows to Africa through the UBA franchise, so we are super excited,” Mr. Uzoka added.

On his part, the CEO of UBA (DFIC), Mr. Vikrant Bhansali, said; “Trade, trade and investment in Africa is growing in the Gulf region and in Asia. Leveraging the UBA Group’s presence in global financial centers, UBA (DFIC) will enhance the group’s ability to facilitate access for Gulf investors and banks to African markets. We will finance trade, facilitate trade and help increase investment in Africa, across all sectors.

Adding his contribution, Mr. Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC, said, “UBA (DFIC) attests to the strong relationship between Dubai and Africa.

“It’s a great start as we look forward to achieving more interaction, channeling more trade and investment to Africa, and with UBA DIFC, we are closer to achieving our goals. DIFC will continue to look for partnerships that will offer winning relationships as we have just seen with the UBA group.

UBA has been in business for over seven decades. Today, the group is present in 20 African countries as well as in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

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