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Wed 26 Sep 2007 04:10 PM

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First Nordic bank sets up in region

Kaupthing Bank to use its new licence in Dubai's DIFC to target entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

The first Nordic bank in the region will use its new license in the DIFC to target entrepreneurs in the region.

Kaupthing Bank, which has been granted a license to provide investment banking and wealth management services by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), said it had made a "significant and strategic decision" to enter the Middle East market.

"We are now seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs coming to the forefront and we want to be the window to intermediate transactions between the Nordic, Gulf and Middle Eastern markets," Umar Ali, managing director and CEO, Middle East and North Africa, Kaupthing Bank told Arabian Business.

"There are a number of very interesting dynamics in the market at the moment. We have seen the markets liberating with telecommunication licenses issued in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman and anyone who has been in the region will have seen how the equity and debt capital markets have substantiated in the last three to five years," he continued.

The firm, which is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Iceland and Stockholm, joins a number of other Nordic companies in the Middle East such as Eriksson and Ikea. Commenting on the region's Nordic presence, Ali said, "There is definitely opportunity for other Nordic companies to come here."

Kaupthing Bank, which is one of the fastest growing financial groups in Europe, will employ a team of 10-15 people in the area during the first year, supported by specialists from Europe and North America.

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