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Sat 2 Nov 2013 10:20 AM

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UAE's largest lender plans major overseas push

National Bank of Abu Dhabi plans eight banking hubs in major cities, five franchises in fast-growing economies

UAE's largest lender plans major overseas push
(Getty Images)

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the largest lender by market value in the UAE, on Thursday outlined plans to establish eight banking hubs in major cities and build five franchises in some of the world's fastest-growing economies.

The plans were announced by Alex Thursby, who became the Group CEO of NBAD in July and is spearheading the new strategies.

Banking hubs in Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Lagos, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Washington DC will be set up, Thursby said in a statement.

The bank also said it aims to become the "largest, safest and best performing bank in the UAE and overtime in GCC".

Thursby said the bank plans to deepen its wholesale network across the West-East Corridor and integrate the its European and North American platforms into this network.

The bank also plans to build five international bank franchises in the largest and fastest growing economies in the West-East Corridor.

It aims to tap into the growing economies that span from West Africa across to East Asia including increasingly important economies in MENA, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and greater China.

"This region represents vast potentials with unlimited resources, growing economic activities, and an emerging middle class," the bank added in the statement.

NBAD, which has operations in 18 countries, said that while the focus will be on emerging markets, it will continue to strengthen its European and North American platforms.

"To streamline our operations, one priority area is to build an organisation structure that is simple and scalable, with no duplications," said Thursby.

"NBAD's objective is to be core to our chosen customers and successfully execute our strategy. Early momentum has continued and we are implementing our new structure with pace across the Group and I am pleased with how smooth the transition is progressing."

He added: "I'm very happy to report that early results are very encouraging, they are nothing short of phenomenal. In wholesale banking we closed some valuable deals, started new revenue campaigns across the business and have an excellent pipeline going forward."

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