Indian firms look to DIFC for growth

Firms from that country continue to be attracted to DIFC’s robust regulatory & legal infrastructure

Dubai: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said on Wednesday it is attracting a number of Indian financial services related firms, making it the destination of choice for them to access the region.

DIFC’s links to India are already strong. From hosting just one financial institution in 2007, DIFC is now home to many Indian firms. DIFC’s 2024 strategy aims for even further growth, and has ambitious plans to attract more Indian banks, financial institutions and firms operating out of the centre.

UTI International, India’s largest asset manager, has just set up its latest fund in DIFC.

“We found that DIFC offers a comprehensive ecosystem required for a thriving asset management business — a world class regulator and a plethora of administrators, law firms, accounting firms and availability of talent,” Praveen Jagwani, CEO of UTI International said in a statement.

Current pricing incentives are designed to attract more Indian and other asset managers to Dubai, the largest fund regime in the region.
Ease of business

Recent changes to domestic regulations in India, and the India-Mauritius tax treaty, mean that Indian asset managers are seeking alternative fund jurisdictions. DIFC’s vibrant ecosystem, coupled with its efforts to improve ease of business and an enabling Qualified Investor Funds regime, has seen significant interest from Indian asset managers.

Recently, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank upgraded their representative office status in DIFC to Category 1 Licence, with HDFC Life and Axis Bank, the third largest of the private-sector banks in India, also strengthening their operations in the centre.

DIFC is also home to leading Indian banks, financial institutions and fund managers.

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