Palestine’s biggest bank has set up its first overseas office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and has flagged further potential growth in the Gulf.
The publicly-listed bank will offer financial, investment and advisory services to the Palestinian diaspora living in the Gulf region and beyond. In a statement, the lender said it hoped the move would encourage Palestinians living abroad to reconnect with their home economy.
“Our new office in the UAE will promote our banking services and serve as an economic bridge that connects 250,000 Palestinian expats in the UAE to their homeland,” said Hashim Shawa, Bank of Palestine’s chairman and general manager.
“At a later stage, we also aim to target Palestinians working in the wider Gulf area to leverage their expertise and capabilities,” he added.
Last year, Shawa told Arabian Business that he had no plans to develop the DIFC representative office into a fully fledged branch.
“There’s no definite plan to have branch outlets everywhere,” he said. “We are deliberately forcing ourselves to promote foreign investment into Palestine, so therefore my near to medium objective is not to put a lot of effort into banking customers here [in Dubai] and taking care of their financial needs here in the UAE and offering loans and financing projects here.
“We want to develop the Palestinian economy and to do that we want to get investors, Palestinian or not, to come put their money in Palestine.”
The Bank of Palestine is the second-largest private-sector employer in the country, with 1,300 employees across 54 branches. 54 branches.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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