In an interview with a Reuters journalist, Karen Fawcett, the UK-headquartered bank’s global head of transaction banking business, said the company plans to develop operations in countries such as Iraq, Mozambique and Myanmar during 2013.
She is reported to have said: “Our transaction banking business is constantly evolving. We are expanding our capabilities and coverage and constantly trying to fill the gaps across our network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”
As reported earlier this week, trade ties between the Middle East and Asia have been strengthening for some time, with factors such as a shared interest in Islamic finance and increasing energy trade links supporting growth.
According to figures cited by Lim Hng Kiang, minister for trade and industry and deputy chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a speech earlier this month, financial flows between the Middle East and Asia are increasing significantly.
Kiang said management consultancy firm McKinsey observed that between 2002 and 2006, 11% of the GCC’s capital outflows were to Asia and that it estimates that this share could nearly double to 20% by 2020.