Shuaa wants to expand to Saudi, double staff

DUBAI - Shuaa Capital SHUA.DU, the UAE’s largest investment bank by market value, said it wanted to expand to Saudi Arabia this year and plans to double its staff within two years as it steps up its presence abroad.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 27 Mar 2007, 6:33 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:55 PM

Chief Executive Iyad Duwaji told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit on Tuesday Shuaa hoped to get an investment banking licence for the Arab world’s biggest economy later this year.

“The (licence application) process is underway. We have sent them all papers,” he said, adding Shuaa had agreed with four Saudi firms to start a joint venture in which the Dubai-based firm would hold 60 percent.

He said Shuaa, which has been hit by a stock market crash in the Gulf, planned to double its staff to 400 within two years as it expands in the Middle East in a drive to help investors in the region eyeing the Gulf.

“Gulf markets are opening up. We think the capital inflows will be increasing,” he said.

Shuaa Capital has secured regulatory approval to raise its stake in Qatari brokerage Amwal Investment to 47 percent from 22 percent. Shuaa has also applied for a brokerage licence in Qatar, he said.

Half of Shuaa’s brokerage revenues in the quarter to March 31 have come from foreign investors, mostly hedge funds, Duwaji said.

Shuaa, which is also active in Turkey, would also soon open an office in Cairo, Egypt’s capital.

Shuaa has seen profits falling for five consecutive quarters due to higher debt and hiring in a move to diversify its business.

He would not say whether Shuaa Capital had been approached by any competitor or possible investor for a takeover.

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