Dubai, Sub-Saharan Africa trade growing

Dubai, Sub-Saharan Africa trade growing
The amount of business flows between the UAE and Sub-Saharan Africa are expanding rapidly.

Dubai - The Access Bank UK looking into Shariah-compliant offerings

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Fri 18 May 2018, 7:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 May 2018, 9:55 AM

The Access Bank UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nigeria's Access Bank, aims to strengthen its Dubai position as local operations here are performing better than expected due to strong and growing trade ties between China, the Middle East and Sub-Sahara Africa, said a senior official.
Jamie Simmonds, CEO and managing director of The Access Bank UK, said the amount of business flows between the UAE and Sub-Saharan Africa are expanding rapidly and the decision to have representation has reaped to have its benefits here.
"For more broad views, the handshake between China and Sub-Saharan [Africa] is equally growing. We have a good presence in China; it also required good representation here and we are seeing benefit of that," he said. The bank's profit grew by 80 per cent from £9.9 million to £17.8 million. Included within these results was an improving performance from the bank's international branch in Dubai, which delivered income of £671,00 (Dh3.4 million), ensuring positive contribution after meeting its direct costs.
"It [profits from Dubai operations] may not sound a lot but it covered more than cost base for us. And we are seeing considerable increase on the performance delivered in 2017. For Dubai, we are slightly ahead of what we expected to be; we want a sustainable base to be built around relationship. It takes time but once it happens it give rapid pace to the growth," he said.
The bank has an office at the Dubai International Finance Centre, offering trade finance for companies engaged in trade between the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Simmonds said the bank keeps reviewing need for Islamic products but there is not a very strong demand for Shariah-compliant products at the moment.
"We review Islamic products and we do see emerging need for fundamental Islamic products, and still it is at early stage of development. There is no high requirement at this stage for those products. We believe that will change over time and what will be able to do is respond to customers' needs but at the moment there is a not a strong demand," he added.

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