Dubai’s largest lender, Emirates NBD, has increased its foreign ownership limit (FOL) to 20 percent up from 5 percent previously.
The bank also intends to increase FOL to 40 percent in the future and will seek necessary approvals from its shareholders and the relevant regulatory authorities, in due course, it said in a statement.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates NBD said the new move 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,” he added.
The bank’s net profit in Q2 2019 jumped 80 percent at 4.74 billion dirhams due to the sale of a stake in Network International and strong non-interest income on foreign exchange gains.
In July, the UAE Cabinet approved allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in certain sectors including the banking industry.
Banking giant, First Abu Dhabi Bank, which had raised its foreign ownership limit to 40 per cent from 25 per cent has also proposed to scrap its foreign ownership limit.
(Writing by Gerard Aoun, editing by Seban Scaria)
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