By Robin Wigglesworth

Published: July 15 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 15 2008 03:00

UBS has appointed Per E. Larsson as chief executive of its Middle East and North Africa operations as the world’s biggest wealth manager aims to expand in the booming region.

Mr Larsson was chief executive of Sweden’s OMX exchange group before heading up the Dubai International Financial Exchange and later Borse Dubai, the holding company that includes the DIFX and Dubai Financial Market, overseeing its link-up with Nasdaq and the OMX.

UBS announced last week that it had received a licence to operate in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s biggest economy, and plans to more than double its Middle East investment banking team to tap into the oil-fuelled region.

“UBS is not the only bank to invest in the region, so we will see increasing competition, but I’m confident we will grow successfully,” Mr Larsson said. “This is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy, and therefore important, but we will be growing across the Gulf.”

As former chief executive of Borse Dubai, Mr Larsson hopes that his contacts with Dubai’s government and the wider region will help UBS as it expands its Middle East business.

Robin Wigglesworth, Abu Dhabi


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