China's biggest banks have recently made a spate of significant financial moves in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in a sign of growing economic ties between the two countries.
On Nov. 13, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's largest bank, listed a 400 million U.S. dollars bond on the Nasdaq Dubai, the only international exchange by regulation in the Middle East.
"The bond will be used to expand our general business in the Middle East and we are optimistic that UAE-China trade will expand further," said Zhou Xiaodong, the General Manager of ICBC Middle East Branch.
Earlier in October, China Construction Bank, China's second largest lender by assets, listed a bond of 600 million U.S. dollars in Dubai.
Bond listings by Chinese banks have totalled 1.98 billion U.S. dollars, according to a Nasdaq Dubai spokesperson.
Statistics show trade between the UAE and China is expected to hit 60 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2016, up from 54.8 billion dollars in 2014.
Earlier in Spetember, Ahmad Muhamed bin Ghannam, acting Executive Director of the International Economic Relations Sector at Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said 100 billion U.S. dollars trade in the near future is "not far-fetched."
On Nov. 15, ICBC was embraced as a settlement bank for the Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX). Bank of China, China's fourth largest lender, became a member in March.
Gaurang Desai, chief executive officer of DGCX, said this development "is particularly important in light of the recent agreement to list Shanghai Gold Futures on DGCX, the first yuan-denominated gold futures product to be offered outside China."
In late September, China launched direct trading of its currency yuan with Saudi riyal and UAE's dirham on its inter-bank foreign exchange market.
As of June, there had been 4,200 Chinese enterprises operating in the UAE, where the share of Renminbi payments has surged 210.8 percent in the past two years.
"With increasingly close trade partnership between China and UAE, the development of currency transactions has become an integral part of bilateral cooperation," said Tian Jun, the General Manager of Bank of China Abu Dhabi Branch.