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UAE bank plans aggressive expansion in Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The National Bank of Abu Dhabi has launched its commercial banking operations in Malaysia and will debut in Shanghai this week as part of its expansion in Asia.

Senior General Manager for International banking, Qamhar Ali Al Mulla, says the United Arab Emirates' top lender was a latecomer in Asia with its first branch launched in Hong Kong just three years ago.

He says the bank has "ambitious plans" in Asia. He says it will launch an office in Shanghai, its first to tap China's mass market, on Wednesday and is eyeing to acquire a bank in Indonesia.

In Malaysia, bank officials said Monday plans are afoot to establish up to 50 branches over the next decade and seek a license to tap the fast growing Islamic banking sector.