UAE Central Bank gives in principle approval for Wizz Financial to acquire UAE Exchange
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UAE Central Bank gives in-principle approval for Wizz Financial to acquire UAE Exchange

UAE Central Bank gives in-principle approval for Wizz Financial to acquire UAE Exchange

Once finalised, UAE Exchange is expected to relaunch its branch network in the UAE

UAE Central Bank

The UAE Central Bank has given in-principle approval for fintech firm Wizz Financial to acquire 100 per cent of UAE Exchange Centre, it was announced on Thursday.

The in-principle approval for change of control satisfies the “main formality required for the completion of the transfer of the business of the Finablr Group pursuant to the sale and purchase agreement entered into by all parties in December 2020”, a statement said.

Once finalised, UAE Exchange will relaunch its branch network in the UAE.

UAE Exchange Centre, which has more than 100 branches across the country, stopped all transactions in March 2020 after it was placed under the supervision of the UAE Central Bank to verify its compliance with regulations.

Troubles with UAE Exchange surfaced after financial irregularities were reported in its parent company, London-listed Finablr.

Read: UAE Exchange placed under Central Bank supervision

Wizz Financial was launched recently by Israel’s Prism Group and its partner Royal Strategic Partners which specialises in payment solutions. It acquired Finablr for a nominal $1 in December and then Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) in August.

Finablr has a presence in 170 countries and along with UAE Exchange, includes the Unimoni and Xpress Money brands. Bahrain-headquartered BFC Group’s products include BFC Forex and BFC Payments.

Also read: Finablr uncovers $1bn in hidden debt as UAE’s NMC Health scandal widens

“We are very thankful for the confidence, support and commitment the Central Bank and senior leadership of the country have shown us,” said Wizz Financial co-founder and group chairman Amir Nagammy.

Ebrahim E Nonoo, Wizz Financial executive chairman of the Money Remittance and FX Division, added: “The Central Bank of the UAE’s in-principle approval will enable Wizz Financial to position UAE Exchange at the forefront of fintech developments and cement the UAE’s reputation for innovation in this dynamic market sector, so essential to us all.”

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