Merrill Lynch granted license to open global markets and investment banking office in DIFC

Merrill Lynch today announced that it has been granted a full-service licence by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to open an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This will enable Merrill Lynch International to expand its current business and help achieve its goal of becoming one of the region’s leading financial service providers in this growing market.

Merrill Lynch will be opening an office in the DIFC during 2007. It will focus on its core businesses, offering its domestic and global clients a full suite of global markets and investment banking products including M&A advisory, structured finance, equity and debt capital market solutions, as well as continuing to deliver comprehensive wealth management services. The new DIFC branch will enable Merrill Lynch to grow its Islamic Finance capability across the region, while working with its already established Shari’a-compliant trading business in London.

Jeffrey Culpepper, head of Global Markets and Investment Banking Middle East and North Africa said: “Opening a dedicated Global Markets and Investment Banking office to provide the level of sophistication locally that clients are demanding globally, was a natural extension of our 35 year history in the Middle East. It was a decision made in response to the development of Dubai as a global market, coupled with Merrill Lynch’s growing commitment to the region.”
Africa, the DIFC offers unparalleled growth opportunities for financial services firms such as Merrill Lynch International."

He continued: “Created in 2004 to serve as an onshore hub for the financial services community, the DIFC bridges the time zones between London and Hong Kong. Today, we remain committed to international best practices and offering a full suite of services to our members, including Merrill Lynch International. On behalf of the DIFC, I am very pleased to welcome them to the world’s fastest-growing financial centre.”

Merrill Lynch has had a presence in the United Arab Emirates for over 35 years and has held a licence from the DIFC with regards to its Global Private Client business since 2005. In September of last year Merrill Lynch also announced that it had launched the Dubai Investible Index (DII), the first investible index designed to track stocks listed on the Dubai Stock Exchange.

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