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First Gulf Bank Upgrades its Singapore Representative Office to a Wholesale Banking Branch
May 10, 2009 12:00 by Aarti Nagraj
10 May 2009, Singapore: At a ceremony held recently in Singapore, First Gulf Bank has officially announced the upgrading of its existing Singapore Representative Office to a Wholesale Banking Branch.
The guest of honour was Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State, Trade & Industry and Manpower, Singapore and the celebration was attended by Mr Abdulhamid Saeed, Managing Director of FGB and Mr André Sayegh, Chief Executive Officer of FGB. This is in addition to government officials from both the UAE and Singapore, representatives from the Central Bank of the UAE and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, VIPs, dignitaries and leading businessmen from across the region.
“FGB’s representative office has been operating in Singapore since June 2007 and has been running well ahead of plan, helping to boost trade between the UAE and Asia Pacific,” said André Sayegh, CEO, FGB. “By upgrading the representative office to a Wholesale Banking Branch, we will be able to cater even more to the increasing needs of customers and benefit the business ties between the UAE and Asia Pacific.”.
“There are many similarities between the UAE and Singapore; sound macroeconomic fundamentals, political stability, transparent judicial framework and high standards of financial sector regulations. In addition, the two countries share extensive links in education, transport and logistics services, infrastructure development, oil and gas services, tourism and investment. We are very pleased to play a role in forming more partnerships between the two countries and beyond, ” added Sayegh.
Singapore’s trade relations with the UAE have grown steadily in recent years. In 2008, the total trade between the UAE and Singapore amounted to US$9.8 billion.
“The Singapore Branch will help in extending our reach to corporate and institutional clients in Asia Pacific, widely recognised as the region with great growth potential. FGB’s Singapore Branch is uniquely positioned to serve as a trade and investment gateway between Asia and the Middle East in general and Asia and the UAE and Libya in particular,” added Sayegh.
Building on its successful presence in Singapore, FGB continued to gain presence in major financial centres. The bank has officially inaugurated its operations in Libya, with First Gulf Libyan Bank starting its operation during the fourth quarter of 2008; obtained a licence to operate in Qatar Financial Centre and approval for a representative office in India.
FGB’s Singapore Branch will be offering a range of world class products and services including trade finance and corporate credit especially tailored for companies in Asia. This is in addition to corporate treasury services.
“To provide cutting-edge customised financial solutions, our team of professionals in the Singapore Branch has extensive market experience, profound industry knowledge, and comprehensive skills,” said Sayegh.
“We are committed to providing our customers with the best value-added services available. Our Singapore Branch will continue this tradition by making it more convenient for companies in the UAE and region to do business with Asia Pacific,” concluded Sayegh.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, FGB is one of the leading financial institutions in the region with shareholders’ equity of over AED20 billion. Over the years, FGB proved to be one of the most dynamic, best performing, and most profitable institutions. At the end of March 2009, FGB has reported a net profit of over AED750 million, representing an increase of 11% over the same period last year.
As at 31 December 2008, FGB is the UAE’s second largest bank by total equity, the third by net profit and the fourth by total assets.
FGB has a prominent profile in the marketplace due to its assigned ratings. FGB is rated “A+” by Fitch and “A2” by Moody’s and “A+” by Capital Intelligence. This recognizes and reaffirms the bank’s excellent financial performance and its well-established franchise.