DBS, southeast Asia’s largest bank, on Tuesday said it has picked Dubai to set up a regional base for its expansion plans in the Middle East over the next five years.
Catering to a growing wealth segment that looks towards Asia for investment opportunities, DBS aims to make its Dubai office a strategic hub for its Middle East private banking arm, it said in a statement.
With over $376 billion in assets, DBS said it is strongly positioned to be the Asian partner for a growing Middle Eastern investor segment.
Along with its expansion plan, DBS also unveiled its new and expanded office premises located at the heart of Dubai’s financial hub, DIFC, where it aims to double the headcount for its private banking operations by 2023.
Over the past seven years, total revenue of DBS’ Dubai branch has witnessed a significant growth rate of 20 percent per annum, it added.
Targeting the region’s growing presence of ultra-high net worth (UHNW) and high net worth (HNW) individuals, family offices and sovereign wealth funds, the bank said it also aims to triple its revenue over the next five years by focusing on increasing client diversity, spread and penetration.
The bank said it is building a bespoke investment portfolio including private equity funds within growth segments such as e-commerce, health technology, real estate, logistics and fintech across growing Asian markets.
Tan Su Shan, group head of Wealth Management and Consumer Banking, DBS Bank, said: “DBS believes that Dubai and Singapore are strongly linked by their shared values of innovation, technological progress and visionary thinking, making Dubai a natural choice for a regional hub.
“Wealth in the Middle East remains on the rise, with the number of UHNW clients with more than $500 million in assets in this region projected to increase by 28 percent – from 390 in 2017, to approximately 500 in 2021.”
As part of its expansion plan, the bank also announced the senior-level appointment of Rudiger von Wedel as head of International, DBS Private Bank, effective from November 19.
Established in March 2006, DBS’ Dubai branch became the first Singapore-based bank to receive a banking licence at the DIFC.