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US firm State Street opens Abu Dhabi office

US firm State Street opens Abu Dhabi office

The company has operated in Dubai for 26 years

US financial services firm State Street Corporation on Monday said it had opened its first office in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

The firm, which has $2.7 trillion in assets under management, said its opening in financial free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) followed a 26-year presence in neighbouring Dubai.

The Middle East operation will be led by senior executive officer for State Street Bank and Trust Oliver Berger and State Street global Advisors senior executive officer Emmanuel Laurina.

The company said its expansion was backed by a survey it commissioned to Oxford Economics that drew responses from 306 institutional investors in the Middle East and North Africa responsible for $4.9 trillion.

This showed 78 per cent of respondents were optimistic about growth prospects in the Middle East and 75 per cent see growing inflows into Gulf Cooperation Council domiciled funds over the next five years.

Respondents said the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in emerging market indices was a key driver for inflows (83 per cent) and the kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification plan (74 per cent).

Read: S&P Dow Jones to upgrade Saudi stocks to emerging market next year

State Street said the new office would boost its offering for Middle East clients in “global custody, accounting, risk and performance analytics, and securities lending, as well as indexed, overlay, multi-asset and active investment management”.

“The results show there is an almost universally positive outlook and prediction of growth in MENA,” said CEO of EMEA at State Street and chairman of EMEA State Street Global Advisors Liz Nolan.

“Having had a presence in the region for more than a quarter of a century, we have a unique perspective on the institutional investor community, and their positive outlook mirrors our own.”

ADGM, which began operations in October 2015, forms part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to become a regional financial hub.

In February, state oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan al-Jaber said the firm was more likely to engage with financial institutions that have a presence in the free zone.

Read: UAE’s ADNOC encourages banks to establish Abu Dhabi presence

Authorities announce the availability of a cheaper start-up licence earlier this month in an attempt to diversify the zone’s tenant base

Read: Abu Dhabi Global Market launches $700 start-up licence

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