First Gulf Bank (FGB), one of the largest equity-based banks in the UAE, today announced that its operations in Qatar have been upgraded to a Category 1 Branch by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Regulatory Authority. This upgrade will now allow FGBQ to expand its services to its customers in Qatar, and will enable FGBQ to provide credit facilities and accept deposits in addition to its existing capabilities to arrange and advise deals in investments and arrange credit facilities
Abdulhamid Saeed, Managing Director, First Gulf Bank, UAE, commenting on the announcement stated; "The upgraded branch status in Qatar, supports our overall strategy to expand our services and offerings geographically. FGB is currently focusing on establishing a firm foothold in selected high growth markets in Asia and the GCC, in order to tap the increasing trade and investment potential between these countries and the UAE.”
He added, “FGB recognizes the massive potential for growth in Qatar’s economy and we hope that FGB’s presence in Qatar’s financial sector would contribute further to the growth of the Qatar economy. In addition to our upgraded operations in Qatar, we also have a wholesale branch in Singapore which services clients from Indonesia and China and a presence in India through our representative office there.”
He concluded; “With the upgrade of our operations in Qatar, we are now a wholesale branch offering banking services as well as a host of new innovative banking products and solutions.”
This announcement is further to a series of positive milestones for FBG, which recently joined the IFC Global Trade Finance Program as a Confirming Bank, which will enable the Bank to expand its capacity in promoting private trade flows in emerging markets. FGB started the year 2011 with a solid financial performance, recording a net profit of AED 875 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2011. This represents an increase of AED 10 million or 1.2% higher than Q4 2010 net profit of AED 865 million, which demonstrates consistent positive growth in net profit in the previous 12 months.