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Dubai Licence Opens Middle Eastern Market For Standard Bank

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

16 February 2006


South African-based Standard Bank has been granted a licence by Dubai's Financial Services Authority to establish a full branch within the Dubai International Financial Centre, opening the way for the bank to expand its business in the fast-growing economy of the Middle East.

The licence has been granted in the name of Standard Bank Plc, the international investment banking subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group.

The bank stated that the licence, granted by the DFSA last month, will provide a base for further tapping into the growing business opportunities in a region that is currently experiencing the highest growth rates since the 1980s.

"This development confirms Standard Bank's commitment to the Middle East and is part of the group's ambitious expansion plans for its international wholesale operations," commented Martin Botha, Managing Director, Standard Bank Plc.

"Our vision is to grow the Dubai branch significantly over the next three years to take advantage of the growing economic and political importance of this region in a global context," he added.

According to Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, the Middle East is set to be one of the key areas of growth in the coming years.

"With a combined growth domestic product of US$1.8 trillion covering nearly 2 billion people, the region offers vast potential. The DIFC is the ideal platform for international banks to access this burgeoning market," he observed.

Standard Bank said that the Dubai branch will also help it to consolidate its pre-eminent position in the regional gold markets and build on its recent success in the field of Islamic finance following the launch of the $200 million Gold Sukuk by DMCC in May 2005.


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