DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, receives licence to operate at the
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Bank to offer wholesale banking products and services in the
DUBAI, 1 APRIL 2006 – DBS Bank, the largest bank in Singapore and fifth
largest banking group in Hong Kong, announced today that it received approval
from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to open its first branch
in the Middle East at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
It is among the first few Asia-based banks, and the first Singapore-based
bank to receive a banking licence in Dubai.
DBS Bank is currently operating out of the DIFC’s Business Centre, and
is expected to open its flagship branch within the DIFC in June 2006.
DBS initially plans to offer wholesale banking products and services
including private banking, securities brokerage, asset management and
trade finance activities to clients in the Middle East.
John Baggerman, General Manager of DBS Bank’s Dubai branch said, "Dubai
is fast establishing itself as an important market for the international
banking industry, and we are delighted to have received this license from
the DFSA. This puts DBS in a good position to help our clients tap into
the increasing volume of capital flows between Asia and the Middle East.
With our strong capital intermediation skills, DBS Bank can offer Middle
Eastern clients access to Asian business networks and provide financial
expertise to link them with opportunities in other rapidly growing markets
Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the DIFC Authority, commented:
"We welcome DBS Bank to the DIFC where it joins some of the world’s
best known financial institutions. As one of the leading banks in Southeast
Asia, DBS Bank brings with it expertise of the Asian market while the
DIFC offers access to a region which has a collective GDP of over US $
1.9 trillion. We look forward to developing a highly successful and mutually
As the Middle East and Asia become centres of economic growth and capital
formation, a presence in Dubai will allow DBS to extend its ability in
intermediating capital flows in Asia to include the Middle East. Two-way
trade has also been increasing between the Middle East and Asia, particularly
with China, India and Indonesia, where DBS Bank has a growing market presence.
As an Asia banking specialist, DBS brings its local knowledge and financial
expertise to Middle East corporates and individuals looking to invest,
or diversify their offshore investments into Asia.
Headquartered in Singapore, DBS has a strong network in Asia with almost
5 million customers. The Bank operates approximately 150 branches and
850 ATMs in Singapore and Hong Kong, and employs nearly 12,700 people
in 14 markets and countries principally in the Asia-Pacific region. DBS
has leading positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset
management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund raising in Asia.
The Bank’s credit ratings are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.
DBS Vice-Chairman and CEO Jackson Tai said, "We are delighted to
receive final approval for our branch license in Dubai. The Middle East
is experiencing remarkable development and we aim to bridge both Asia
and Middle East, the two fastest growing regions in the world. This will
enable us to enhance our services to our customers in both markets."
Headquartered in Singapore, DBS is one of the largest financial services
groups in Asia. The largest bank in Singapore and the fifth largest banking
group in Hong Kong as measured by assets, DBS has leading positions in
consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage,
equity and debt fund raising. Beyond the anchor markets of Singapore and
Hong Kong, DBS serves corporate, institutional and retail customers through
its operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and The Philippines.
In China, the bank has branches and representative offices in Shanghai,
Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Tianjin and Dongguan. The Bank's
"AA-" and "Aa2" credit ratings are among the highest
in the Asia-Pacific region. More information about DBS Group Holdings
and DBS Bank can be obtained from our website www.dbs.com.
The Dubai International Financial Centre
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for
global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres
of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped
emerging market for financial services.
In just over one year, more than a hundred top international institutions
have joined the DIFC as members. They operate in an open environment complemented
with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member
institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax
on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition
their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support
and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.
The DIFC is made up of the following core bodies:
- The DIFC Authority (DIFCA) - Responsible for the Companies and Security
Registries and attracting financial as well as non-financial institutions
to set up in the DIFC. (www.difc.ae)
- The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) - An independent, unitary
regulatory authority, responsible for the regulation of all DIFC operations.
Its principle-based primary legislation is modelled on that used in
London and New York, and its regulatory regime operates to standards
that meet or exceed those in major financial centres. (www.dfsa.ae)
- The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) – A liquid and transparent
electronic market trading securities, bonds and derivatives, launched
in September 2005, the DIFX eases access to regional and international
investment opportunities and funds. (www.difx.ae)
- The DIFC Courts - An independent court system set up to uphold the
provisions of DIFC laws and regulations, the courts provide comprehensive
legal redress in civil and commercial matters within the DIFC. The laws,
enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice
President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, provide for a new
court system designed especially for the DIFC and the sophisticated
transactions that will be conducted within it.
- The law establishing the Judicial Authority at the DIFC creates
and sets out the jurisdiction of the court and provides for a dispute
resolution services, including arbitration and mediation, thus allowing
for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC; and
- The DIFC Courts Law sets out the jurisdiction, powers, procedures,
functions and administration of the court. (www.difccourts.ae)