Abu Dhabi, Malaysia weave multi-party fin services deal


The ADGM, the International Financial Centre of Abu Dhabi, Malaysia’s Labuan IBFC and the Labuan FSA have sealed a collaboration agreement to boost development across their respective financial ecosystems. 

The partnership aims to foster greater collaboration between the Emirate and the Malaysian territory on joint financial activities, as well as serving as a platform to share relevant banking information, securities legislation and regulations.

Labuan is a federal territory of Malaysia. The territory’s capital, the port city of Victoria, houses an international offshore financial centre and free trade zone home to various multinational banks, insurers and trust companies.

The ADGM is Abu Dhabi’s dedicated financial centre, which maintains the Emirate’s three independent authorities – the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), and ADGM Courts. The ADGM, established in 2013, stands as a key rival to Dubai’s International Financial Centre, which has cemented its place as the UAE’s preeminent financial hub since 2004.

Two separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements were signed between the Labuan IBFC Inc Sdn Bhd and ADGM, and the Labuan FSA and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM. Labuan IBFC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Labuan FSA – the statutory regulator entrusted with managing the international business and financial centre.

Labuan FSA director-general, Datuk Ahmad Hizzad Baharuddin, said the MoUs would deliver mutual assistance and strengthen cross-border operations between the regions’ financial institutions.

“I believe the bilateral relationship will play a key role in fostering regional financial stability and sustainable growth,” he added.

Richard Teng, chief executive of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, said the agreement paves the way for further initiatives and the possibility to explore “cross-border investment activities to better serve our markets and beyond.”

“Together, we can work closely in advocating a well-regulated environment and promoting high regulatory standards and practice among our business communities in the UAE and Asia,” Teng said.