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First Authorised Chinese Investment Firm Arrives In DIFC

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

05 September 2006

First Eastern Investment Bank, a member of the First Eastern Group, has become the first authorised Chinese investment firm to receive approval from the Dubai Financial Service Authority to operate from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The launch of First Eastern - China’s largest direct investment firm - in Dubai will help it expand and develop existing long-term strategic advisory relationships between leading Gulf and Chinese enterprises across the region. The Gulf is currently China’s eighth largest trade partner.

First Eastern will focus on bringing investments to and from Chinese corporations from the infrastructure and services sectors, and aims to list companies with strong track records on the Dubai International Financial Exchange. First Eastern also plans to offer Chinese companies a range of financing options for projects in the Middle East, from arrangement of export credit loans and project financing to equity investments.

Victor Chu, Chairman of First Eastern commented:

“First Eastern has over fifteen years of experience in the Gulf region and an unrivalled track record in China. This combination will enable us to deliver an exclusive and proven platform, channelling capital into Gulf-China investment opportunities."

"We are delighted that First Eastern Investment Bank is the first authorised Chinese institution at the DIFC and we look forward to developing a strengthening partnership between China and the Gulf."

Assem O. Kabesh, Chief Business Development Officer and Board Member at the DIFC Authority, said Mr Chu’s vision illustrates the benefits that the DIFC provides.

“As the region’s financial hub, the DIFC offers First Eastern Investment Group the ability to access capital and a range of business opportunities. A number of private equity firms recognise this potential and we expect further applications from this sector in the coming months,” he stated.

Mr Chu believes there are over 10,000 companies in China today that, over time, would qualify to list on the DIFX.

“Capacity constraints in domestic Chinese markets are preventing a number of firms from accessing capital. We believe that by introducing our investee companies to the Gulf region and improving their governance standards, we can access a new source of capital and exciting growth opportunities”, he observed.

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