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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:00 AM

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Al-Futtaim moves into brokerage

Business giant teams up to provide financial services

Al-Futtaim Group, one of the largest business conglomerates in the UAE, has entered into a joint venture with HC Securities & Investment, an Egyptian financial services firm, to provide a complete range of brokerage services for UAE customers.

The new company will be called Al-Futtaim HC Securities (AFHC) and intends to combine strong understanding of local markets with international service standards.

Omar Al-Futtaim, chief executive officer of the Al-Futtaim Group, said, "The Al-Futtaim Group has been looking for the right partner to venture into this key sector and I am confident HC Securities & Investment, with its expertise in providing excellent brokerage services, is the ideal partner to provide reliable services to our clients."

The new joint venture will offer brokerage services to financial institutions, high net worth individuals and individual investors in the UAE for stocks that are listed on the Dubai Financial Market, Abu Dhabi Securities Market, and, at a later stage, the Dubai International Financial Exchange.

AHFC Securities will support customers with an online electronic brokerage system. Customers can also use the services of HC Securities in Egypt for other services including investment banking, asset management and brokerage services.

Hussein Choucri, chairman of HC Securities, said: "The financial services industry is expanding at an exponential pace in the UAE and we look forward to taking part in and propelling this growth along with the Al-Futtaim Group.

"We will benefit from the experience that both HC and the Al-Futtaim Group can bring to the table to make this a successful venture."

The joint venture will be headed by Hassan Choucri, who has more than 10 years' experience in the stock market, and supported by an experienced team of 22 people. AFHC Securities will also be able to draw on the knowledge of Morgan Stanley, which has a 30% stake in HC Securities.

Hassan Choucri, general manager, AFHC Securities, said: "We aim to become the leading Securities Brokerage firm in the UAE by providing simple and reliable solutions to our clients."

Choucri added: "We plan to educate the investor to make the right investment decisions and give them the best value for money in terms of trading services as well as the knowledge base to guide them in the financial decision-making process."