UAE: Citigroup to Expand in Middle East with DIFC License
Jun 06, 2006
Dubai – Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) - Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, a member of Citigroup, today announced that it has received approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority to operate as an authorized firm at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
This comes shortly after the global bank stated its intention to establish significant businesses at the DIFC over the coming months to service the Middle East North Africa region, including equity and investment banking and a dedicated equity research team.
Mr. Mohammed Al Shroogi, Citigroup Country Officer (CCO) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Corporate and Investment Banking Head for the Middle East, based in Dubai, said: “The DIFC provides Citigroup with a world-class platform from which to operate throughout the Middle East and allows us to contribute towards developing the region’s financial markets. Introducing a full-service wholesale banking business allows us to better service our clients and take advantage of new investment opportunities.”
Obtaining a DIFC license is part of Citigroup’s plan to firmly establish a leading presence in the Middle East. In 2005, Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, joined the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) as an individual clearing and trading member. Citigroup was also sole global coordinator and joint bookrunner for the first listed company on DIFX, Investcom, whose Global Depositary Shares (GDS) are listed in parallel on the London Stock Exchange.
Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Center said: “As one of the world’s leading financial institutions, Citigroup will be able to expand its regional business from its platform at DIFC. Citigroup’s commitment to establish a full-service wholesale banking presence is testament to Dubai’s suitability as the region’s financial hub.”
Citigroup has been in the Arab World for nearly 50 years and continues to view the region as critical to its global franchise. It is currently present in nine Arab countries including Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Bahrain and Kuwait. It also serves clients in non-presence countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and Oman, through Bahrain.
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Citigroup, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporation, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centers of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services.
In just over one year, more than a hundred top international institutions have joined the DIFC as members. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100% foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.
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