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Ahli United, the Kuwaiti-owned bank formerly known as United Bank of Kuwait (UBK), is winding down its trade finance operations. Martyn Ebbs, the head of trade finance in London, has already left the bank and turned up at Turkish bank Sabanci, which is building up its trade finance operations following the recruitment of Riza Kadilar from The Economy Bank NV (TEB) earlier this year (see GTR, May/June, p6).

One source comments that Ahli has been working down its trade business for some years. When the bank was known as UBK, it was quite active in the structured trade business, including servicing UK corporates with Middle Eastern connections.