DIFC Governor discusses future of Middle East asset management

  • Argues that region is poised to see asset management boom
  • Says growth is driven by wealth repatriation and improved  regulation
  • Addresses high-level international audience at Hedge Funds World Middle East

The Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) told a high-level audience of international and regional financial services professionals today (March 6, 2007) that the Middle East is poised for an asset management boom. In particular, said His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, the DIFC has encouraged fund registration and administration by providing the regulatory and professional framework for their development.

Bin Sulaiman examined this crucial issue during his welcome address to the participants of Hedge Funds World Middle East, which opened this morning in Dubai.

In his address, the DIFC Governor said: “Today, as regional wealth is increasingly repatriated from overseas back to the Middle East, regional fund management has likewise assumed an increasingly prominent role. The wealth generated in the region is now more than ever being reinvested in the region, which is good news for asset management firms, private banks, fund administrators and other ancillary service providers.”

He continued: “More important, that’s good news for the people of the region. For the people of the Middle East, the ability to self-manage – and self-regulate – our economic affairs is vital to our shared future. The rise of a regional asset management sector, then, is an extremely positive step in that direction.”

Citing the DIFC’s Collective Investment Law, which provides the Middle East’s first legal framework for the funds industry, Bin Sulaiman said: “The result of these legal reforms and regulatory upgrades is now plain to see: regional  fund management does remain very much in its youth, but the sector is becoming more mature by the day.”

He concluded: “For fund managers, meeting the needs of the newly confident and increasingly sophisticated Middle Eastern investor is both a challenge and an opportunity. It is a challenge because the fund manager must himself be fully transparent and genuinely competitive. It is an opportunity because the fund manager now has the chance to meet today’s Middle Eastern investor on common ground – and on equal terms, right here in the region.”

The eighth annual Hedge Funds World Middle East Conference began today at the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai as the industry celebrates strong growth in the region and looks to the future.

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