Mena Corp plans Germany branch


08/02/2014 08:42 AST

Dubai’s biggest equities brokerage plans to expand into Germany by July to tap growing investor appetite for UAE equities, the chief executive officer said.

Mena Corp Financial Services LLC, which traded the most shares on the Dubai Financial Market among the 48 brokerages tracked by the exchange last year, plans to open a representative office in Frankfurt in the second half, Fathi Ben Grira, group chief executive, said in an interview in Dubai. The expansion into Frankfurt will also allow Mena Corp to serve institutional clients in Zurich and Liechtenstein, he said.

UAE equities have become more appealing to international investors since MSCI Inc said in June it would upgrade the country to emerging-market status effective May this year.

Dubai’s DFM General Index more than doubled in 2013, the top performer among more than 90 indexes tracked by Bloomberg, while Abu Dhabi’s benchmark gauge surged more than 60 per cent.

“Now with the MSCI upgrade we expect the big German firms would look at the country and the region,” Ben Grira said. “German investors were really active before the financial crisis and they know this market well.” Mena Corp’s clients in Germany, including Deutsche Bank AG and three others, accounted for as much as 15 per cent of total foreign investments placed with the company last year, Ben Grira said. Trade between Germany and the UAE grew 17 per cent to $12.7bn in 2012, making it one of the Arab nation’s top 10 trading partners, data from Bloomberg show.

Mena Corp is also one of the most active brokerages in Abu Dhabi, where it ranked number three with nine per cent of the market by volume of shares traded last year, according to data compiled by the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

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