Citigroup to expand in the Middle East with DIFC Licence
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 MENA 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 licence 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 co-ordinator 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 Centre 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.