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Morgan Stanley (MS) Expands in UAE With Office in Abu Dhabi

Morgan Stanley MS has announced the opening of a new office in Abu Dhabi with the aim of enhancing its presence in the Middle East region. This move aligns with its strategic focus on United Arab Emirates (UAE) with new opportunities in the capital markets business.

Since 2006, MS has been operating in Dubai, which is recognized as the Gulf’s financial hub, alongside Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Hence, the current move signifies the company’s long-term commitment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Abu Dhabi has become a preferred destination for global asset managers and fund management institutions over the past few years. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is witnessing augmented demand in the hedge fund, venture capital and private equity domains, primarily from U.S.-based global asset managers.In the third quarter of 2023, AGDM's assets under management witnessed 52% growth, driven by contributions from these globally established institutions.

Clare Woodman, head of Morgan Stanley EMEA and CEO of Morgan Stanley & Co International plc, said, “We are delighted to be expanding our regional presence and commitment by opening an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). There are exciting times ahead for the MENA region and as capital markets activity continues to grow and diversify it brings new and rewarding opportunities for both regional and global investors.”

Apart from Morgan Stanley, several other global banks are expanding their footprint in Abu Dhabi to cater to the demands of a diverse investor pool of wealthy clients, hedge funds and alternative investment firms. The major attractions for these companies are Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth and the fact that it houses the headquarters of three sovereign wealth funds.

In November 2023, JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM announced it would begin offering deposit-taking and payment-processing services to wholesale banking clients from ADGM. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) granted approval to JPM to upgrade its license to category one, which allows it to offer the abovementioned services.

Likewise, last May, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS announced plans to set up an office in Abu Dhabi to enhance its footprint in the MENA region. This was the second office of GS in UAE after the first one in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Morgan Stanley’s shares have gained 5.9% in the past three months compared with the industry’s 12.7% growth.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

MS presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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