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Wed 24 Sep 2008 06:58 PM

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Deutsche and Credit Suisse target Middle East operations

Banks expand regional footprint in bid to escape US, UK market turbulence.

International banks are expanding their footprint in the Middle East as they look to escape the on-going turbulence in the US and UK markets.

European investment banks, Deutsche and Credit Suisse, both announced on Wednesday they are beefing up their presence in the Gulf region.

Credit Suisse said it had won a licence to open an office in Bahrain, adding to its existing operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Beirut and Cairo.

German bank Deutsche, launched its Securities and Services division in Dubai, which will provide new custody services on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

In providing custody, a bank acts as an intermediary, managing securities on behalf of institutional clients, settling trades and collecting dividends.

Deutsche Bank currently has two offices in Dubai - its headquarters are in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and one in Abu Dhabi.

Henry Azzam, Deutsche Bank chief executive for Middle East and North Africa, said the group were keen to expand further in Middle East and recognised the "opportunities present in the financial markets of the UAE".

In May, Citigroup the largest US bank, said its co-head of investment banking, Alberto Verme, was moving to Dubai from London to help sound out business in the fast-growing Middle East.

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