FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto
INTERNATIONAL - Citigroup has been granted a license to set up a branch of Citibank at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGAM), a financial centre in Abu Dhabi, it said on Tuesday.

The new branch will provide liquidity management to Citi’s clients looking to establish regional treasury centres in the United Arab Emirates, as well as offering institutional banking services to its global clients, it said.

Citi is expanding in the United Arab Emirates where it has provided wholesale and retail banking since 1964, and in neighbouring Saudi Arabia where it plans to apply for a full banking license.

Citi aims to boost the UAE’s role as an offshore booking centre to cater for demand from multinational corporate clients wanting to use the country as a centre for their business in the Middle East and Africa, Atiq Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive of Middle East and Africa told Reuters earlier this month.

The granting of the license in Abu Dhabi was made during a visit to ADGM by Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat.

ADGM, which opened in October 2015, and the older and larger Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are the UAEs’ two international hubs for banking and fund management.

In comments aimed at encouraging more banks to establish themselves in ADGM, state oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Co’s (ADNOC) chief executive Sultan al-Jaber said in February that it was likely to engage more with financial institutions that have a presence in the financial centre.