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Alternative Market Briefing

Dubai eyes regulatory reform to attract domiciled funds

Monday, March 17, 2014

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Dubai is planning to relax its regulatory regime to attract more funds, including hedge funds and private equities, to move into the financial center to domicile, various media reported. The move will create a new class of funds in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

According to Emirates247 the DIFC was created as a financial free zone in 2004 and became the top banking hub in the Middle East. However, only nine funds are currently domiciled in the center since the funds regime was established in 2010.

To compete with leading financial centers, DFIC’s regulatory body, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), is mulling to introduce less stringent regulations that translates to lower costs on asset managers to narrow the gap with its new fund class.

Chris Harran, a partner at law firm Dechert LLP commented on the move, "You need an option now for a Middle East domicile." He also suggested changes in the incorporation and registration of investment funds to make Dubai more attractive.

Anthony Mallis, chief executive of asset management firm Securities & Investment Co in Bahrain, said Dubai must also target family offices from around the Gulf to succeed in its goal in transforming the DIFC as one of the most important g......................

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