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The importance of Dubai for Saxo Bank.

Dubai has emerged as an important global financial centre and fills strategic time zones between Asia and Europe, said Saxo Bank

Lars Christensen, founder and co-CEO, Saxo Bank, said, "The GCC region is very important to us and we have excellent growth here; far better than say Western Europe. The region has an increasingly affluent middle and upper class that want to be involved in their own trading and investment decisions and need access to the best online trading technology."

On the importance of a physical presence for an online service, Christensen said that one of the reasons it was important for the bank to have a physical presence in its markets is to help educate the market about FX trading. "There is an element of risk in any trading and we feel it is part of our responsibility to make sure investors fully understand what they are getting in to. This is why we have included a number of online offerings that enable customers to practice trading without any trades actually taking place. This is an important area that we take very seriously."

He added that Saxo Bank invests a great deal in developing and maintaining its award winning trading platform. "Almost 40 per cent of our 1,500 employees are involved in IT development and maintenance."

Since the launch of its Dubai office in 2009, Saxo Bank Dubai Ltd has enjoyed strong growth of both private and institutional clients. This has partly been fuelled by a number of initiatives dedicated to the region, including its Islamic Stock Screener that allows investors to identify and trade Sharia-compliant stocks on 25 different exchanges, FX Trading and Contracts -for -Difference (CFDs).

White labeling

In addition to its own clients, a large proportion of Saxo's business derives from its 'white-label' partners, other financial services providers that utilise Saxo's platform rather than developing their own technology.

"We deliver trading platforms to roughly 100 other financial institutions that include it under their own brand name. CitiFX is probably our most well-known white-label client and there are several other big players, as well a lot of medium size brokers," Christensen said.

Re cycling

Christensen also commented on the participation of the Saxo sponsored Contador cycling team - led by world champion Alberto Contador - in the Tour of Oman from 11-16 February.

Christensen said: "This is the first time our team has participated at the Tour of Oman. We felt that it was important to support this local initiative and help to establish the Tour of Oman as a world class event. This will not be difficult as Oman offers some of the most spectacular scenery and has the full support of the authorities. We will hopefully be participating at the event in the coming years too."

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Publication:CPI Financial
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 18, 2013
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