Standard Chartered Purchases Landmark Building in the Dubai International Financial Centre

Standard Chartered Bank, one of the UAE’s leading international banks, today announced the launch of its new corporate building in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC). The new building is at No 1, Dubai International Financial Centre.

Standard Chartered is the first bank within the Dubai International Financial Centre to purchase its own premises. To mark the historic occasion, Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Ray Ferguson, Chief Executive, UAE, of Standard Chartered Bank inaugurated the building.

Ray Ferguson said: “We recognise the enormous significance of being able to operate from our own building in the Dubai International Financial Centre. We believe this is a natural outcome of our commitment to the United Arab Emirates, and will bring real benefits for not only ourselves, but the entire banking sector.

‘’The Dubai International Financial Centre’s world-class regulatory regime will be conducive to Standard Chartered’s business aspirations in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa region. The Centre is of significant strategic importance to our bank.”

He continued that although federal law prohibited the dealing in UAE Dirhams and retail business from within the Centre, the regional business of Standard Chartered would benefit greatly from being within the Centre.

‘’The vision of Dubai to be the region’s business hub has great synergy with that of Standard Chartered. The UAE, Middle East and South Asia region plays such an important role in the bank’s network. Income from this region during 2005 was up 25% to USD 808million and profit before tax was up 27% at USD 478million. Almost all countries continue to deliver double digit growth with robust economies and we believe that Standard Chartered is well placed moving forward. This latest move further reinforces this.’’

Standard Chartered coordinates many of its regional activities from the UAE. Senior regional management teams, including investment banking and islamic banking activities and IT infrastructure support units will be housed within the building. The Bank will also be looking to migrate relevant business units to the Dubai International Financial Centre as it grows.

Ferguson concluded: “Our presence here will allow us to be more creative and futuristic as the DIFC continues to attract Arab liquidity”, he added.

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman said: “We welcome Standard Chartered to the Dubai International Financial Centre. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. The Dubai International Financial Centre offers tremendous opportunities.  First of all, it has a world class regulatory environment. It will allow a company to take advantage of the unique benefits of the Centre as a hub for the fast growing markets in the UAE and the region. The benefits include zero tax on income and profits, 100 per cent foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital/profit repatriation, operational support and business continuity facilities.”

He added: “With the arrival of Standard Chartered Bank at the DIFC, we have its firm commitment to the region and the acknowledgment of our growth potential.

Standard Chartered was one of the first financial institutions to obtain a commercial banking licence in the Dubai International Financial Centre. It was appointed the settlement bank as well as a custody bank for the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) in August 2005.

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