Bloomberg Set for Dubai Hub Expansion in Bid to Double Revenues by 2014

Issac John
Filed on October 3, 2009

DUBAI — Bloomberg, a leading global provider of financial data and news services, plans to “significantly” boost regional operations from its Dubai hub as it is bullish about the growth prospects of the emirate as a global financial centre, a top executive of the 
company said.

The New York-based company has drawn up a five-year plan that will see it achieving a two-fold increase in revenue from the Middle East region by 2014 on the back of an expected surge in news and data terminal sales, besides additional income from new services and more localised products that are in the pipeline, Peter T. Grauer, Chairman and Managing Director of Bloomberg, told Khaleej Times during his recent visit to Dubai.

Grauer said he was upbeat about Dubai’s recovery prospects. “Like any other financial centres in the world, Dubai is on a recovery path. From our perspective, we have a very huge expectation about Dubai. We believe Dubai has the infrastructure and legislation to serve as the financial hub of the region,” he said. Bloomberg, which expects “a modest growth” in 2009, also has plans to expand its news bureau network. The company is opening its second news bureau in the UAE in Abu Dhabi within weeks. In the GCC, its network is now spread over in Bharain Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Worldwide, it has 145 news bureaus in 68 countries.

“Central to our growth strategy is the doubling of staff strength in Dubai office, our 10th regional hub, from 48 to 100 people with in a year,” said Grauer.

Currently, Bloomberg has a total workforce of 175 in the Middle East region, with India accounting for almost 100 people.

“We will be investing not just in more people but also in infrastructure to support clients in the region,” he added.

Grauer said the Middle East region would begin to see an annual revenue surge of 15-20 per cent from 2010. “Despite the difficulties faced by the financial sector in the economic turmoil, our terminal sales in the region grew by two per vent in the past nine months, when globally we faced a major setback,” he said. By the end of 2008, the number of Bloomberg’s worldwide data and news terminals dropped by 12,000 as banks reduced the number of terminals because of a business slowdown. “However, we are still the number one provider of terminals in terms of revenue because of our one-price policy for everyone while our competitor leads in the number of terminals,” Grauer said.

Despite a 3.4 per cent drop in terminal number, he said the company expected to post growth on increased revenue due to price increases and other non-terminal businesses in 2009. Grauer also hopes to recoup part of the terminal losses by reducing the removals to 7,000 by the end of the year when regional terminal sales is expected to grow three per cent.

Bloomberg had sold 300,000 terminals worldwide before the start of the financial crisis.

In 2008, Bloomberg group generated total revenues of $6 billion.

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