Macquarie Capital Middle East receives ‘in principle approval’ from ADGM

Comes five months after the freezone began receiving applications from financial institutions.

Macquarie Capital Middle East has confirmed it has received “in principle approval” to become one of the first major financial institutions to establish a presence in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The Australian investment bank, known for its infrastructure finance practice, said yesterday that it had received approval from ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority to operate within the new free zone.

“We are delighted to be one of the first global financial institutions to apply for an ADGM FSRA licence, testament of our confidence in the ability of Abu Dhabi to become another major global financial centre based out of the GCC,” said Macquarie’s executive chairman Wissam Moukahal.

“We believe this initiative will create jobs and enhance the Emirati expertise in the financial services sector beyond traditional banking and investment management.”

The bank, which established offices in ADGM in 2013, did not comment on when it expected to formally commence operations in the free zone.

News of Macquarie’s ADGM licence application, alongside that of the UK’s Aberdeen Asset Management, was announced by ADGM this month, five months after the free zone began receiving applications from financial institutions.

Aberdeen’s office in ADGM would be the institution’s first office in the Middle East.

A spokesman for Aberdeen said that it was not as far advanced in its licence application, and did not expect to receive approval until late summer.

Not as far advanced in our application. In line with our year-end target we wouldn’t expect to receive approval in principal until late summer.

Afkar Capital, an incubator for asset management fund start-ups, was the first financial institution brought on board by ADGM, receiving its licence in January.

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