UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has received authorisation from the banking regulator to open its branch in mainland China.

The licence from China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Shanghai Office (CBIRC Shanghai) allows the lender to conduct both Renminbi and foreign currency business in China.

As per media reports, the branch will start operations in the first quarter of 2022. FAB China CEO Arthur Zou will lead the branch.

Notably, the Shanghai unit will be FAB’s first branch in mainland China. The lender established a representative office in Shanghai in 2012.

FAB group CEO Hana Al Rostamani said: “The UAE has a long-standing and trusted partnership with China, one that is rooted in shared values of collaboration and progress. With the expansion of our presence in Shanghai, FAB can now apply scale, expertise, and financial strength to accelerate collaboration across the priority industries of both nations.

“Our extended footprint in Asia means we can better serve our clients through specialised offerings and deliver the next phase of our international strategy. We thank the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and its Shanghai Office for their support, as China continues to open up its financial markets.”

Earlier this year, FAB signed a deal to acquire the Egyptian subsidiary of Lebanon-based Bank Audi.

Last year, FAB deferred discussions to buy the Egyptian arm of Bank Audi due to covid 19.