Pakistan’s MCB Bank has opened its wholesale banking operation in Dubai
Dubai 4th July 2015 [Dubai Post, The News Blog of UAE ]
Pakistan’s MCB Bank has opened its wholesale banking operation in Dubai and its top officials said the market has huge potential for growth. In addition to catering to the needs of Indians and Pakistanis based in the UAE, the bank is looking to tap the Asean market, which has trade flows of around $80 billion per annum with the Middle East region. MCB already had a representative office in Dubai since 2008. Last year, the bank got the green signal from the Central Bank of the UAE and State Bank of Pakistan, or SBP, for the establishment of a wholesale unit in the UAE.
The bank opened its wholesale branch in March this year but last Thursday was the official launch during an event in Dubai. It was attended by Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; Ishaq Dar, Pakistan Finance Minister; Riaz Riazuddin, Deputy Governor of the SBP; Mian Mohammad Mansha, MCB group chairman; UAE central bank officials and a large number of dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Dar said that the establishment of an MCB branch in Dubai would provide quality banking services to the large Pakistani community and also facilitate them in sending remittances back home.
Shoaib Mumtaz, country manager of the bank’s branch in the UAE, said that the response has been very good especially from the Indian business community in Dubai after the soft opening early this year. The bank’s branch is located in Karama, which is a predominantly Indian market. Mumtaz said the bank’s current capitalisation is Dh40 million and he doesn’t expect profit in the first year of operations. “We don’t see coming into the positive this year. Practically, we are going operate only nine months this year. In 2016, we would be showing positive figures as far as our balance sheet is concerned.”
“We are targeting and concentrating more on fee income and structuring self-liquidity transactions,” he said. “We have a couple of interest from liability side and assets as well.”
He said that the bank would soon establish a “Far Eastern Trade Desk” in Dubai with the help of Maybank, which hold 20 per cent shares in MCB.
“We are trying to get their [Maybank] intelligence with deal with their customers,” he said, adding that the bank will be concentrating on countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and China. “Maybank has agreed to… give us very good resources that are well-familiarised with all these four markets,” he added. The potential is huge as the trade that goes to these four regions is more than $80 billion, he added.
Muhtashim Ashai, senior vice-president of MCB’s wholesale banking group, also reiterated that the bank can do a lot in the UAE. “The bank is bullish on the prospects of the UAE. Expo 2020 is just one part of it. This kind of policy that UAE has for promoting trade and invest is fairly unique in this region,” Ashai added. “I think our access to the Chinese corridor and Asean corridor will depend of our strength and relationship with Maybank. They are the biggest bank in Malaysia and they are also excited to be here with us as they don’t have presence here.”