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Tue 12 Jan 2010 05:56 PM

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DIFC plans 'substantial' cut in fees in 2010

Chief economist says move to attract more funds, become competitive globally.

Dubai International Financial Centre, a tax-free business park, plans a “substantial” cut in fees on asset managers this year to attract more funds and become internationally competitive.

“We want a substantial share of the mutual funds industry,” especially those investing in the Middle East and North Africa, DIFC chief economist Nasser Saidi told reporters at a conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

DIFC is also looking to attract real estate investment trusts and funds complying with Muslim banking law, he said.

He declined to specify the size of the cuts that cover levies imposed by DIFC, regulator Dubai Financial Services Authority and the park’s bourse, Nasdaq Dubai Ltd.

The move to lower regulatory, registration and listing costs for funds follows a review submitted to the regulator on September 30.

DIFC is home to the regional offices of banks including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and HSBC Holdings. Dubai set up the 110-acre business park in 2004 to help diversify its economy and attract financial firms wanting to tap the Middle East’s $1.4 trillion of private wealth.

DIFC currently has nine fund operators and 18 fund administrators, according to a DFSA spokeswoman.

Bahrain, which set out to attract the funds management industry in 1992, had 2,711 authorised funds at the end of 2009 managing $8.55 billion, according the Central Bank of Bahrain website. That included 102 local funds and 2,573 offshore foreign funds.

DIFC also on Tuesday signed an agreement with Luxembourg for Finance, the body developing the world’s second-largest investment funds centre, in a bid to improve market access, financial regulations and infrastructure in the Dubai business park.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Karim Fastak 10 years ago

Great news, this is what we need, more modesty, less arrogance and increased ability to provide value! Keep it up!

Jon 10 years ago

...all DIFC needs to do now is cut rents and it should really become more attractive. The centre is consistently quoted as having the highest office rent in the Middle East...

W 10 years ago

A decent rent cut would be FAR more appropriate.

Jeff 10 years ago

Rent is the main reason we left the DIFC, fees were a smaller part of it. Easy to cut fees when rent is astronomical. You CAN NOT justify London pricing, DIFC is not London. Dubai must turn back the clock and again become competitive to attract Western businesses. This is symptomatic of the overall problem in Dubai, built too fast to be the best and priced to reflect that nonsensical self-worth. Such a shame, Dubai was a fantastic place full of opportunity in 2005, we did not want to leave, I wish them the best as I still have many friends who live and depend on it's economy.