Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) today officially opened its office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), its first office in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Located in the Gate Building in the DIFC, the new office will offer a comprehensive range of services to clients in the region, including investment banking, capital markets, sales and trading, commodities, investment management, and private wealth management.
John J. Mack, Chairman and CEO, who today officially inaugurated the new office during a week-long tour visiting clients in the region, said, "This is an important milestone for Morgan Stanley and clear evidence of our commitment to developing our presence in the Middle East and North Africa region.
"The Middle East region is an area of key strategic focus for the Firm and establishing this office will enable us to build on our long track record by considerably enhancing the services we can offer clients in the region."
Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, said: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Morgan Stanley to the DIFC. This is a highly significant moment for us as it firmly sets us apart as the financial centre of choice. Morgan Stanley has a reputation of being a world class institution and has chosen DIFC as its first stepping stone into the Middle East. We wish them success and look forward to a long and prosperous partnership."
Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm and a market leader in securities, investment management and credit services. With over 600 offices in 30 countries, Morgan Stanley connects people, ideas and capital to help clients achieve their financial aspirations.
Morgan Stanley in the Middle East
Morgan Stanley has been active in the Middle East region since the 1970s, providing a variety of investment banking, asset management and wealth management services. Recent transactions in the region include:
- Acted as Global Coordinator and Sole Structuring Advisor for the issuance of $1.55bn Notes for the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)
- Acted as Joint Bookrunner for €4.8bn accelerated bookbuild offerings for KPC's Sanofi-Aventis shares in two separate transactions
- Created a consortium for Saudi Oger in its $6.55bn acquisition of the 55% stake in Turk Telecom
- Acted as Joint Bookrunner for Mashreqbank's two Floating Rate Notes offerings totalling $625MM
- Lead managed $500MM Floating Rate Note offering for Emirates Bank
- Acted as Joint Global Coordinator for the IPO of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI)
- Currently acting as Joint Bookrunner for the upcoming IPO for Showtime Arabia
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services.
In just over one year, more than a hundred top international institutions have joined the DIFC as members. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 percent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.
The DIFC is made up of the following core bodies:
1. The DIFC Authority (DIFCA) - Responsible for the Companies and Security Registries and attracting financial as well as non-financial institutions to set up in the DIFC. (www.difc.ae)
2. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) - An independent, unitary regulatory authority, responsible for the regulation of all DIFC operations. Its principle-based primary legislation is modelled on that used in London and New York, and its regulatory regime operates to standards that meet or exceed those in major financial centres. (www.dfsa.ae)
3. The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) - A liquid and transparent electronic market trading securities, bonds and derivatives, launched in September 2005, the DIFX eases access to regional and international investment opportunities and funds. (www.difx.ae)
4. The DIFC Courts - An independent court system set up to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations, the courts provide comprehensive legal redress in civil and commercial matters within the DIFC. The laws, enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, provide for a new court system designed especially for the DIFC and the sophisticated transactions that will be conducted within it.
- The law establishing the Judicial Authority at the DIFC creates and sets out the jurisdiction of the court and provides for a dispute resolution services, including arbitration and mediation, thus allowing for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC; and
- The DIFC Courts Law sets out the jurisdiction, powers, procedures, functions and administration of the court. (www.difccourts.ae)