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Thu 10 May 2007 12:31 PM

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Lehman Brothers launch in Mideast

Offices in Dubai and Qatar are just the beginning; report praises region's 'strong growth'.

Lehman Brothers is set to launch its business in the Middle East, with offices in Dubai and Qatar bringing the bank's services to the Gulf region, the global services firm announced today.

The New York-based firm secured licences to operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in August 2006 and the Qatar Financial Centre in April 2007.

Lehman Brothers is also actively reviewing its entry options for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in a bid to explore its regional opportunities and provide its full range of investment banking and capital markets services to the Middle East market.

It also has regional headquarters in London and Tokyo and operates in a network of offices around the world.

"The Middle East today clearly has a prominent role in the world economy," said Richard Fuld, chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers.

"Our clients around the world are looking to us to assist them in this important region, while at the same time within the region, corporations as well as governments and investors are looking for financial solutions that we can deliver," he added.

The company also announced the addition of executives to its Middle East Advisory Board who are set to give the firm strategic advice on its business approach in the region and to interpret the region's economic and business trends.

The announcement comes just days after a report released by Lehman Brothers on Monday, entitled 'Beyond petrodollars: Globalisation and sustainable development in the Middle East'.

The report states that the Middle East's hydrocarbon exporters have developed into a key power in the global economy and that this is likely to continue at least until the end of the decade.

The report also says that GCC economies are now investing more heavily to develop their economic base and to prevent complete dependence on oil revenues.

"The petrodollar boom and current petrodollar recycling are creating the basis of a new Middle East economy and there appears to be no turning back," Lehman Brothers' Chief Energy Economist Edward Morse said in the report.

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