Denmark’s Saxo Bank is considering expanding in the Middle East and is currently planning to open several new offices in the region.
Jakob Beck Thomsen, regional chief executive of the bank, says there are several new markets in the region being considered. Currently, the bank has one office in Dubai that has been open for the past year, although Thomsen says Saxo Bank has been servicing regional clients for much longer.
“We are looking at our options, and I would expect to see another Saxo Bank office open in 2010,” says Thomsen.
“Saudi Arabia is a very interesting market for us, and Qatar is interesting as a place to support the Qatari market,” he adds. “But also we are very interested in Bahrain as it is an established financial centre, a gateway to Saudi Arabia, and has a very progressive regulatory framework.”
Saxo Bank currently has a mixture of high-net-worth, institutional investors, and local banks as clients. Thomsen says about 35 per cent of its customers are based in the UAE.