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Banks in ‘Asia deal’

Standard Chartered has signed two agreements with Warba Bank to facilitate their transactions in Asia. The announcement comes in light of increased trade activity between MENA financial institutions and companies with Asia in general and China in particular.

Warba Bank joined Standard Chartered’s “Asia Express Guaranteed Payments Programme”, which ensures delivery of funds to beneficiaries in Asia on the same day or next day. The programme also removes much of the uncertainty faced by clients effecting USD payments to Asian destinations by leveraging the bank’s strong footprint across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Warba also signed a “China Renminbi (RMB) Clearing Services Agreement” to provide its clients with an access to the internationalisation of RMB. According to Standard Chartered research, China’s projected annual RMB trade settlement volume was around $175bn in 2011, and this is expected to reach $756bn by the year 2014 and $1000 bn by the year 2015.

This comes in light of the shift of economic power from West to East, the internationalisation of the RMB and the emerging trade corridors between Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Commenting on the agreements, Hosam Nasser Al Muzaiel, investment manager, Warba Bank, said, “We are committed to providing clients with best-in-class financial services. During a time of ever closer economic ties between the Middle East and Asia, this partnership with Standard Chartered will strengthen our ability to meet the evolving needs of customers, many of whom have interests in the two regions.”

Motasim Iqbal, regional head of transaction banking, banks segment, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “Our partnership with Warba Bank is a clear indication of the increased demand from MENA-based corporate and financial institutions for transaction banking in Asia in general and China in particular.

“With our strong footprint across Asia, Africa and the Middle East and continuous efforts to enhance our services and to develop our human resources and technology, we are ideally positioned to provide our corporate and financial institutions clients with innovative and competitive clearing and settlement services. We are glad to partner with Warba Bank and look forward to working closely with them.”

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