UBS eyes Mideast expansion with new wealth desk in Dubai -memo

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The logo of Swiss bank UBS in Zurich, Switzerland February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

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DUBAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - UBS (UBSG.S) will establish a new wealth desk in Dubai that will add coverage of Oman and Kuwait markets, and a dedicated sales team to capture business growth in the Middle East, according to an internal memo.

"The new desk will be in charge of markets onto which we will put increased focus out of this location going forward," said the note seen by Reuters.

Former Credit Suisse banker Georges El Khoury will be desk head in Dubai, with other members of the team including Abdul Latif, Ilyad Jundi and Sarika Chandwani, who will cover Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

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Raoul Rahme, who worked at Barclays and Credit Suisse, will be head of DIFC sales, the note said. DIFC is the financial free zone in Dubai.

Ross MacMillan and Elan Bassier will be part of his team, the note said.

UBS earlier this year hired senior HSBC banker, Tarek Eido, as head of wealth management in Qatar as part of plans to open a wealth management office in Doha.

The number of millionaires in the Middle East region and their wealth grew last year, according to the World Wealth Report 2021 released by Capgemini Research Institute.

The population of high net worth individuals grew 6.8% to 0.8 million, while their wealth grew 10.7% to $3.2 trillion in 2020, the study showed.

(This story corrrects spelling of last name in fourth paragraph to Rahme, not Rahmem)

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Reporting by Saeed Azhar, editing by David Evans

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