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Morgan Stanley latest US bank to set up in Abu Dhabi

The Morgan Stanley New York headquarters. The bank's local head said there are 'exciting times ahead for the Mena region' Morgan Stanley
The Morgan Stanley New York headquarters. The bank's local head said there are 'exciting times ahead for the Mena region'
  • ‘Exciting times ahead’
  • Mena M&A activity to rise
  • Goldman Sachs also in ADGM

Morgan Stanley is opening an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market in a bid to win more business in the Middle East and North Africa.

The latest international bank to set up shop in the UAE capital’s financial centre, Morgan Stanley already has offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Doha.

The lender, ranked 31st worldwide in terms of assets by S&P Global, is a relatively minor player when it comes to advising on mergers and acquisitions in the Mena region.

Morgan Stanley failed to make the top 10 in terms of deal value in the first nine months of 2023, a report by GlobalData showed.

Its US rivals Bank of America, JP Morgan and Citi were ranked first to third respectively, while Goldman Sachs – which opened an office in ADGM last year – was eighth.

“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,” Clare Woodman, Morgan Stanley’s head for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

Middle East mergers and acquisitions activity will rebound in 2024 following a slump last year, according to a recent report by Norton Rose Fulbright.

In the first half of 2023, the number of deals in Mena fell 14 percent year on year, as rising borrowing costs, global recessionary fears and geopolitical uncertainty made prospective buyers warier, data from consultants EY shows.

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