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Mon 1 Oct 2007 03:41 PM

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Nordic bank lands second GCC licence

Northern European lender Kaupthing to open Qatar Financial Centre branch, following DIFC authorisation.

Nordic bank Kaupthing has been granted authorisation to set up a branch office in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), following its recent approval to set up in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The Qatar office, which will be regulated by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), will provide investment banking and wealth management services.

Kaupthing expects to employ a team of approximately 10 to 15 people in the area during the first year which will be supported by specialists from Europe and North America.

"The QFC is attracting many leading institutions from all over the world and we are very pleased to have received this licence and thereby benefit from the Centre's strong legal and regulatory environment," said
Umar Ali, managing director and CEO of Kaupthing Bank Middle East.

"We are absolutely delighted to be in Qatar and look forward to developing our business in this dynamic and forward looking market."

The bank currently has operations in 10 countries. This will increase to 16 countries following the completion of its recent acquisition of NIBC, a merchant bank in Western Europe.

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.

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