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Mon 1 Jul 2019 12:00 PM

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Video: Five questions with Dubai Financial Services Authority

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has said that their investigation into the controversial Abraaj case will be a deterrent for all UAE companies indulging in unlawful activities

"The DFSA acted quickly and appropriately in the matter. We have turned our attention to investigation. That investigation is well resourced and has all the right people associated with it. And the outcome would be a credible deterrent for any future replication of such activity", said Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of DFSA. 

Abraaj, which managed almost $14 billion in assets, was forced into liquidation in June after a group of investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commissioned an audit to investigate the alleged mismanagement of money in its healthcare fund. 

In a recent development of events, Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi was released on bail after posting a record $18.96 million bail.

"There is conduct issues and prudential issues around the world. No one really is immune. But we continue to evolve," he said when asked about the delay in detention of the alleged fraudsters.  

The UAE's financial sector has been witnessing a few very eventful years with consolidation, mergers and acquisitions, fluctuating credit yields and so forth. "The state of the financial sector is stable.  Banks are continuing to grow. There's a lot of consolidation in the sector that looks to be in the positive. As banks merge themselves they can invest in technology," he said. 

However, according to Stirewalt, the main challenge of the country's financial sector today is geo-political situation. "UAE and Dubai is a product of globalisation. Dubai focusses on moving goods and services and people. Any time there is an issue that interrupts the risk profile of globalisation then that has a negative consequence for trade. We would like to see globalisation return to where it was before. We'd like to see tensions calm down so business can continue where it was," he said.

(Source: YouTube channel)