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GMG Targets Family Businesses And HNWIs In Middle East

by Phillip Morton, Investors

07 December 2006

Gulf Merchant Group Limited (GMG), a new investment banking and asset management firm to the region, has been licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to operate as an authorised firm within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The DIFC said Tuesday that the group will provide international standard investment banking services that target family-held business groups and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) within the MENA region.

Offering international expertise and experience with local know-how, GMG will help private and family held groups manage their growth and to help diversify their investments, both in the region and internationally. It is thought that the group will also help to direct Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) towards this market segment by providing investment banking services to international companies aiming to invest in the region.

Gulf Merchant Group Limited is a subsidiary of Gulf Merchant Group LLP, which is regulated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Commenting, Nabil Maaloul, CEO of GMG announced that: “We are delighted to establish operations in the DIFC. This financial hub will undoubtedly provide us with an excellent environment to deliver our unique proposition to our target segments – the family-held business and HNWIs.”

In the Middle East region, the family business plays a vital role in the economy, making up more than 95% of businesses, and privately-held wealth is estimated to be in the region of $2 trillion. Meanwhile the in-flow of FDI in the region is escalating, driven by the deregulation of key sectors in regional economies.

Nasser Mohammed bin Hussein Alshaali, Chief Executive Officer of the DIFC Authority, commented: “We welcome GMG to the DIFC and we look forward to the valuable contribution they will make to the Centre with their particular focus and expertise. Private and family held enterprises form an integral part of the local business culture and represent 85% of companies across the region. The Group’s carefully targeted approach to providing international standard investment banking services will benefit these companies, the DIFC and the local economy.”

Deloitte has been engaged to provide accounting and business advisory services to GMG, which is embarking on a road show around the Gulf countries in the coming weeks.

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