UAE In-Focus — UAE bank enters metaverse; CVC-owned TMF group acquired by Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund

DUBAI: Commercial Bank International has announced the launch of its virtual location in the metaverse. It is the first-ever bank in the UAE to exist in the virtual world, according to a statement.

The CEO of CBI Ali Sultan Rakkad Al-Amri said: “We are proud to be the first ever bank in the UAE and among the first innovative banks in the Middle East region to bring the Metaverse experience to our customers and people, which we believe is a strong testament to our strong support and belief in the country’s vision in being a leader in innovation worldwide.”

To better serve its customers, CBI said it aims to integrate the real and digital worlds and implement new digitization initiatives and advanced technologies.

“To keep pace in an increasingly digital economy and reinvent the customer experience with a digitally driven perspective, we believe that the financial services sector must take some courageous and innovative steps, and we wanted to take part in this journey and become the first mover through an immersive Metaverse experience,” he said.

CBI said in a press release that its new Metaverse experience allows customers and the public to explore and interact with the bank’s digital content and materials.

Furthermore, the space has a lounge that demonstrates CBI’s support for the UAE’s digital and innovation strategy, the release added.

CVC-owned TMF Group acquired by Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund

CVC Capital Partners’ corporate-trust services provider, TMF Group, which was exploring an initial public offering, will receive investment from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, according to Bloomberg, citing sources.

People who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information said the Middle East sovereign wealth fund will take a significant minority stake in the company.

TMF provides several services including book-keeping, payroll, fund administration, and compliance to multinational corporations and financial institutions, Bloomberg added.

A total of €1.75 billion ($1.78 billion) was paid by CVC to acquire the company in 2017. According to the people, TMF expects double-digit revenue growth this year.

CVC considered taking TMF public earlier this year. It was before multiple risk factors, including inflation, hawkish monetary policy, the Ukraine war, and recession threats, hit the market for listings.

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