The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has granted a banking license to Russia’s MTS bank, according to information published on its website on Wednesday. Information shows that MTS Bank is registered in Abu Dhabi and received its license last year.
The bank is the financial technology unit of Mobile Telesystems, Russia’s largest mobile operator. The Financial Times reported on Wednesday the approval by the UAE’s central bank.
Tough Western sanctions against Russia have not yet directly hit telecoms infrastructure, meaning MTS doesn’t face the same restrictions as banks and energy companies.
The System holds a 42.09% interest in MTS. Last year, Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov ceded a 10% majority stake in the company to his son after Britain imposed sanctions on him.
Entities controlled by sanctioned individuals may also face restrictions. In April, Yevtushenkov reduced the shares of the “System” to 49.2%. Better Homes, a consultancy, said in October that Russians topped the list of non-resident homebuyers in Dubai in the third quarter as they sought a safe haven from the fallout from the conflict in Ukraine.
The UAE is a member of OPEC, along with Saudi Arabia, as well as the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, and maintains good relations with Moscow despite Western pressure to help isolate Russia for what Moscow calls an incursion. in Ukraine. “Special military operation”.
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