BMA grants licence to Dexia bank
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has granted a licence to Dexia Private Bank (Switzerland).
The bank, which is a subsidiary of the Dexia Group, will establish a Representative Office in Bahrain, the Dexia Group’s first presence in the GCC region. The Bahrain entity will operate under the name Dexia Private bank (Switzerland) Middle East Representative Office.
The Dexia Group is a major player in retail financial services, investment management services and treasury and financial markets in Europe.
The licence for Dexia Private Bank (Switzerland) was earlier approved by HH Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of BMA’s Board.
The Bahrain unit will not only offer a wide range of financial products, such as structured finance, investment funds, Shari’a-compliant investment products and alternative products, but also financial engineering and customized project financing. The bank will target high net worth individuals as well as institutional investors in Bahrain and the region, as part of its plans to grow the bank’s Middle East business from its hub in Bahrain.
“We welcome the addition of Dexia to Bahrain’s well-established international financial center,” said Mr. Ahmed Al Bassam, Director, Licensing & Policy, at the BMA.
“Bahrain’s financial center has developed and matured over the past 30 years and the BMA is the most highly regarded regulator in the region.”
Bahrain provides the ideal base for financial institutions wishing to grow their business in the region, he said. “Middle East investors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are demanding comprehensive wealth management solutions,” Mr. Al Bassam pointed out. “A presence on the ground, close to their customers, can only benefit the institutions targeting such investors.” The Dexia Group’s capital stood at US$6 billion in 2003, while total assets amounted to US$458 billion. The Dexia Group is listed on the Euronext markets in Brussels and Paris, as well as Luxembourg.