Emirates NBD has increased its foreign ownership limit to 20% after securing regulatory, shareholder and board approvals.

Previously, the foreign ownership cap at the bank was set at 5%.

Plans are on to eventually raise the cap to 40%. The bank said that it will seek shareholder and regulatory nod on the move in “due course”.

Emirates NBD chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “In line with our position as a strategic partner to the UAE government, we are confident that today’s announcement will contribute to support the vision and goals of the country’s leadership and developing the UAE as a pivotal hub in the global economy.

“The announcement will strengthen the UAE’s proposition as one of the most attractive economies for foreign direct investment and contribute to increased liquidity and depth in the UAE’s capital markets.

“Further, the announcement is aimed at diversifying the Bank’s investor base as Emirates NBD continues to deliver value to its shareholders.”

Emirates NBD has been on an expansion mode recently.

In July this year, the banking group wrapped up the purchase of Denizbank– the Turkish arm of Russian lender Sberbank.

In the same month, Emirates NBD received the green light to set up 20 additional branches in Saudi Arabia.