Citigroup seeks to establish major presence at Dubai International Financial Centre



Citigroup today announced its intention to establish fully-licenced offices at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) with a view to bringing significant businesses including Equity and Investment Banking teams covering the MENA region into the centre. Citigroup also stated that it plans to establish a dedicated MENA-level equity research team over the coming months.

This announcement came during a meeting between Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFC Authority) and Mr. Robert Druskin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank. Mr Druskin was heading a 10-member delegation of Citigroup’s global officials to the UAE.

This announcement is in tandem with Citigroup's plans to fortify its position in the Gulf's key capital markets. In 2005, Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, a member of Citigroup, joined as an individual clearing member and a trading member in the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), and Citigroup was the 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 as well as DIFX.

Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman commented: “Citigroup’s interest in establishing a significant presence at the DIFC is a welcome sign of confidence by the world’s financial powerhouse. It would be our pleasure to welcome them here. The Middle East is a very important region of operations for international banks as it is set for tremendous growth, specially in the financial services sector.”)

Mr. Druskin said: “Citigroup is committed to developing the regions capital and financial markets, and we are excited to be part of DIFC, Dubai’s latest initiative for further developing the regional financial market. We are expanding our network across the major markets of the region and exploring new investment opportunities across the Gulf Region specifically.

“Business in the region is exploding and we are proud to continue to take part of this growth. We are keen to develop our longstanding market position and time-honoured relationships with clients, and to leverage our global network and unsurpassed product range, talent and quality.”

Citigroup has been in the Arab World for nearly 50 years and continues to view the region as a critical part of the Bank's global franchise. It is curretly present in nine Arab countries including Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Bahrain and lately Kuwait. It also serves clients in non-presence countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and Oman, through Bahrain.

In the UAE alone, Citigroup had a presence for the last 41 years, and it is expanding its major operations in the country, namely in consumer banking, corporate&investment banking and private banking sectors. Citibank, a member of Citigroup, is the market leader in credit cards in the UAE and the bank has had strong relationships with the top corporations active in the country

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