Sberbank obtains approval from regulator in Russia and from Abu Dhabi Global Market to open office in Abu Dhabi

Sep 14, 2020

Sberbank has received regulatory approval in Russia and in-principle approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market to open an office in the United Arab Emirates. Before the end of the year, Sberinvest Middle East Limited  expects to obtain its final authorisation from the Financial Servcies Regulatory Authority, the ADGM regulator and open an office in Abu Dhabi. The company will continue its strategy of strengthening ties between Russia and the Middle East and will serve as another link between Russian businesses and investors from the region.

The primary objective of Sberbank’s subsidiary in Abu Dhabi is to become a key partner in investment deals between Russian and Middle Eastern investors.

The company is also set to have a fully licensed Islamic window, which will allow the structuring of investment products in accordance with the principles of Shariah. The bank already uses Islamic banking instruments in structuring trade and project finance deals.

On top of that, Sberinvest Middle East Limited expects to engage in trade finance of Russian exports to Middle Eastern countries, and also to promote the services of Sberbank ecosystem companies in these countries.

Oleg Ganeev, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, Chairman of the Board of Sberinvest Middle East:

“ Last week we obtained an in-principle approval from the local regulator to open Sberinvest Middle East Limited, which followed an approval from the Russian watchdog. We have been closely monitoring how the UAE has been evolving and transforming into an international business hub connecting the East and the West. The result of this is a new office of the Sberbank Group in Abu Dhabi. A physical presence in the region will position us to directly promote partnerships with Middle Eastern investors for their projects in Russia,  as well as the export of Russian products to the Middle Eastern countries. We also have big plans to export Russian food products to the Gulf states and to develop traditional Islamic finance products through the expertise of the Sberinvest Middle East team.”

Andrei Ugarov has been appointed as the CEO of Sberinvest Middle East Limited. He has extensive entrepreneurial and business development experience in the Middle East and Africa in multiple disciplines, including equity capital raisings, mergers & acquisitions and principal investments. Andrei is fluent in six languages including Arabic and Russian. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from the Wharton School.

Chief Islamic Finance Officer of at Sberinvest Middle East Limited will be Behnam Gurbanzada who established from scratch and currently heads Sberbank’s Islamic Financing business in Russia. Behnam is fluent in four languages, including Turkish. He graduated from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics and holds an MBA from the Moscow International Business school MIRBIS.

Sberinvest Middle East Limited is a subsidiary of Sberbank Investments LLC, which is part of Sberbank’s Corporate and Investment Business Unit.