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Anil Ambani plans expansion in Middle East

Last updated on: March 8, 2011 10:38 IST

Anil Ambani plans expansion in Middle East

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Dubai Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, plans to expand its operations in the Middle East, chief executive Sam Ghosh has said.

Through its office in the Dubai International Financial Centre, the company wants to expand its business in the region up to $1 billion (3.67 billion dirhams) in the next three years and up to $2 billion in the next five years, with a special focus on wealth management and Sharia-compliant businesses, Ghosh added.

The company said its Sharia business in Dubai is growing several-fold and it expects to see significant growth in its asset management business based out of Dubai in the next few years.

"We see Dubai play an important role in our international growth strategy. Dubai's geographical location and its highly dynamic business environment are ideal for our international presence. Our decision to open office in DIFC is helping us accelerate and tap the vast business potential present in the region," Ghosh told Gulf News.

As part of its expansion, the company will increase its headcount considerably in the next couple of years.

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Image: ADAG chairman Anil Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters
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"The India story is well known to Indians living in the United Arab Emirates and the region. Through our Dubai office, we want to reach out to more nationalities keen to participate in the India growth story," Reliance Capital Asset Management's business head for Europe, Middle East and Africa, R M Sriram, told the newspaper.

Reliance Capital has interests in asset management and mutual funds, life and general insurance, private equity and proprietary investments, stock broking, depository services, distribution of financial products, investment banking, wealth management services, commercial finance, exchanges and other activities in financial services.

In Dubai and the Gulf region, Reliance Capital will primarily emphasise India-focused asset management business.

Reliance Asset Management (UK) Plc's Dubai branch began advisory operations from DIFC last year after receiving a licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

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Image: An aerial view of The Palm Island Jumeirah in Dubai.
Photographs: Reuters
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The Dubai branch provides full range of wealth and investment advisory services to institutional clients and high net-worth individuals.

Ghosh said leading sovereign wealth funds from the region have investment exposure to India and the company expects growing interest from family offices and regional high net-worth clients going forward.

"Although international institutions offer exposure to India through offshore funds, everyone knows the fact that the local knowledge of the market is key asset in fund management business. This is what we want to leverage in the region," Ghosh said.

According to him, about 80 per cent of the investments by these individuals and institutions are expected to be made in listed equities and the rest in other assets like private equity investments.

With the Indian economy projected to grow at around 9 per cent next year, Reliance expects more interest in Indian asset classes from the Gulf investors.


Image: Anil Ambani at the AGM of Reliance Capital.
Photographs: Reuters
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