(Bloomberg) --

The United Arab Emirates’ central bank granted a license to Russia’s MTS Bank, according to the regulator’s website. 

The Russian lender received the license last year, according to the website. The UAE central bank declined to comment, while MTS Bank didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. The Financial Times reported the approval earlier.

The lender is a unit of Russian telecommunications firm Mobile TeleSystems, which before March 2022 was controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s Sistema. The tycoon is sanctioned by the UK.

Thousands of Russians flocked to the UAE after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Russians were the biggest international buyers of Dubai real estate last year, according to brokerage Betterhomes.

  • Read more: Russian Buyers Help to Propel Dubai Property Sales to Record

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