Dubai’s recent financial boom has opened up a number of new opportunities for international financial firms as they explore new techniques to weather the economic gloom that is affecting trading activity in the world’s most liquid asset class. Paul Belgour, CEO of Boston Merchant Financial (BMFN) explained to Forex Magnates that Dubai’s aim to be a regional financial hub stretches beyond the Middle Eastern deserts, across to the Far East, as its recently established UAE office flourishes with unexpected visitors.
BMFN, a global FX firm, has joined the growing list of brokerage firms that have taken heed of the recent bull rally in the UAE. The firm established its domestic operation under the authorization of the DMCC. The Dubai office will not only target the local UAE and regional Middle Eastern and North African markets, but acts as a central point for the firm’s Asia offerings, connecting its India and China offices.
The office, situated in one of Dubai’s many financial quarters – Jumeriah Lake Towers, is BMFN’s third office in the region, joining Kuwait and Egypt. However, apart from the local clientele the firm is reaping the benefits of Dubai’s international status and a number of Chinese traders are signing up through the DMCC registered firm.
Mr. Belgour explained during a discussion with Forex Magnates at the Middle East Forex Expo in Dubai: “We are bringing Chinese IBs to sign agreements here. Chinese IBs are so keen to travel to Dubai.”
Building Team in Dubai
The firm has started its search for local talent and started advertising in local online job boards for sales and business development staff.
Dubai’s diverse expatriate population offers firms setting up the advantages of having both an experienced and multi-lingual pool of talent. UAE is home to over nine million people with local Emirati people accounting for 9% of the population. Due to the country’s business and employment rules it attracts overseas workers and business people from across the globe.
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In its employment advertisement BMFN seeks individuals with existing clients: “Sales skills and previous experience in the Forex, CFD or Financial Industry is a must, preferably someone with the book of Foreign Introducing Brokers, Money Managers and customers.”
More to Come
BMFN’s current license and operation is the first phase of its strategy. Forex Magnates has learned that the firm is in its last round of talks with a local provider to enhance its status, a formal announcement to be made shortly.
Dubai’s FX and commodities trading environment continue to grow, the bullish economy and retraction in the country’s property market has led to a positive sentiment. One UAE-based broker explained: “We’re seeing a lot of sleeping giants wake-up as markets stabilise in certain asset classes.”
Regulated FX firms have a few options when offering spot FX and CFDs; membership of the DGCX and registration with the financial watchdog, Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA) being the most common among brokers. However, a person close to the matter has informed Forex Magnates that regulators are conscious of FX firms using the commodity exchange membership as a front and have recently been slow to approve firms.
Another option is holding a central bank license, either as a principal broker or introducer, and registration with the UAE’s mimic of the UK’s FSA (now FCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
The country’s bull run has also been impacted by recent geo-political events, an influx of capital from neighboring residents who faced uncertainty on the back of the Arab Spring has aided and abetted the UAE economy. As the country prepares for Expo 2020, Dubai’s skyline welcomes the sight of cranes and the sound of digging.