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Abu Dhabi Finance Week kicks off with major announcements across sectors

JP Morgan plans to expand its payments and corporate banking services in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Finance Week kicks off with major announcements across sectors
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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On Monday, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated the second edition of Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW), stressing the vital role the event plays in positioning the emirate as a leading investment hub and a major player in the financial landscape. The event also launched the inaugural Abu Dhabi Economic Forum.

The week-long event, held under the theme of Investing in the Transition Era, is attended by thousands of global and regional companies and financial leaders.

In his opening speech for the event, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy, said that sustainable finance is a key feature in shaping the country’s economy. 

“Our government truly believes in [climate finance], and we are committed to creating a conducive environment for responsible investment in the UAE, and we have the ambition of becoming a global hub for green finance,” he said. More specifically, the minister cited carbon trading as a “crucial market.”

Al Marri specified that other components shaping the future of the UAE’s economy are investments in new economic sectors, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and advanced manufacturing.

On the first day of the event, JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon announced that it plans to expand its payments and corporate banking services in Abu Dhabi. The bank aims to take deposits and offer payments to wholesale banking clients from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the financial center of the UAE capital.

”The determination of the emirate that is forging ahead with its reform agendas is extremely impressive, be it their economic, financial and social agendas. These are not easy changes but there is clear progress on all fronts towards the goal to create a safe and secure society and a dynamic Falcon Economy,” Dimon said.

Additionally, ADQ shared at the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum that it looks to set up one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in Abu Dhabi. This creation comes as a part of ADQ’s future plans to include further pharma acquisitions, which will then be merged and headquartered in Abu Dhabi, noted Dr. Jaap Kalkman, Chief Investment Officer of ADQ.

He added that ADQ invested heavily in digital transformation and innovation, with its 25 companies witnessing 20% annual profit growth and further plans to grow globally. 

Meanwhile, MAGNiTT released its Q3 2023 MENA FinTech Venture Investment Report, providing an overview of fintech’s latest developments across the MENA region in the first nine months of 2023. 

The report shows that the MENA’s fintech sector is resilient, raising $484 million across 66 deals in the first nine months. Fintech maintains its position as a leading industry, capturing 36% of all MENA funding and 23% of deals in the same period.

On the other hand, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in MENA’s fintech sector experienced a 29% year-on-year increase in exits recorded by nine months of 2023, with the UAE leading the way.

Philip Bahoshy, CEO at MAGNiTT, said, “Despite a broader venture slowdown in 2023, fintech stands resilient, drawing significant attention from both regional and international investors as well as continued focus by regulators including the DIFC, ADGM, the Central Bank, and Sama across the GCC.” 

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