Mubasher Financial Services, a regional brokerage firm based in Bahrain plans to expand its services across the Middle East.

Since the beginning of the year, UAE-based investment banks Shuaa Capital and Al-Futtaim as well as Egypt’s HC Securities & Investment have scaled down their brokerage business, as a result of the slump in trade in the capital markets.

“A lot of brokers have exited the market or are shrinking their presence and we are taking advantage of this,” says Malek Kanawati, chief executive officer at Mubasher Financial Services.

Mubasher has increased the capital of its Egyptian branch by £E8m, 50 per cent of the total capital and is also trying to obtain a margin trading licence.

The money will primarily be used to facilitate inflows from Mubasher’s international customers into the Egyptian market.

“We saw a drastic deduction last year (on the Egyptian Exchange) but international customers are coming back to the market from the returns made over the past two months,” says Kanawati.

Mubasher also has high hopes for its Libyan operations. The company has a brokerage licence in the oil-rich North African state.

“There will be a lot of volatility when the Libyan Stock Exchange opens, but for the long term prospects we should see a normalised market and a return to profitability. There was a lot of interest in Libya from the GCC before the revolution and I’m sure there will be more,” says Kanawati.

Mubasher Financial Services is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia-based National Technology Group (NTG) which offers direct market access to the region’s stock markets through a single trading hub.