Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) is opening in Russia, making it the first Arab bank to have a presence in the country.

The new representative office will officially open on November 25 in Moscow. It will be run by ABC International Bank, the UK subsidiary of the ABC Group.

Through its new office, the bank is looking to work with exporters or importers based in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus who are trading with the Middle East and Northern Africa region. The major rationale behind the launch is to generate more trade finance business from these strong Mena-Russia trade flows.

ABC’s subsidiaries in the Arab world will be encouraged to help importers increase their trade flows with Russian markets, via the Moscow office.

“We are very keen to be the first Arab bank to be there and to take advantage of these trade flows.”

“We are very keen to be the first Arab bank to be there and to take advantage of these trade flows,” comments David Lilley, head of European trade finance, at ABC International in London.

Dimitry Kuryshev will be in charge of developing business through the new Moscow office. He previously worked for SMBC in Moscow, and was part of a team headed by Lilley before he moved to ABC in 2009.

Hassan Juma, president and chief executive of Arab Banking Corporation adds: “ABC believes that Russia offers considerable opportunities as a result of its dynamic economic development and historical relations with the Arab world.“

“We believe that this is the right time for our group to have a presence in Russia. The opening of the Moscow office will also help enhance the trade ties between the two regions.”