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Tue 14 Oct 2008 04:04 PM

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Istithmar World opens New York office

UPDATE 1: Dubai investment firm looking to tap opportunities on American continent.

Dubai government investment agency Istithmar World said on Tuesday it was opening an office in New York as it looks to tap investment opportunities on the American continent created by the financial crisis.

The announcement comes soon after other Gulf investment firms said they would wait for the US downturn to bottom out before snapping up bargains.

"The current global market conditions have opened up many windows of opportunity for us," said David Jackson, chief executive of Istithmar World Capital, a unit of the state-owned investment firm.

"We believe that a permanent presence in the region will provide us better insight into potential investment opportunities in the Americas while enabling us to add greater value to our portfolio companies here in the United States, Canada and in the future, elsewhere in the Americas."

Earlier this month Dubai's Zabeel Investments said it would wait before moving in for US acquisitions in hospitality and real estate.

An official close to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) told newswire Reuters last month it had been sidelined by volatility in the US markets and would wait and see before making investments there.

New York will be the second city in which Istithmar World Capital has opened an international office after Shanghai in China.

In August, Istithmar World and a real estate developer bought a 20 percent stake in Canadian acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil.

In April, Istithmar World Capital said it would buy a majority stake in North Carolina-based Gulf Stream Asset Management.

Istithmar bought a stake in Standard Chartered and acquired fashion retailer Barneys New York last year. (Reuters)

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