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Goldman Sachs to start equity business in Dubai

goldmanGoldman Sachs Group Inc., which generated one-third of its profit from trading last year, is restarting Middle East and North Africa equity sales in Dubai, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets is hiring Veer Ramlugon as part of the plans, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Ramlugon, who declined to comment when contacted by mobile phone earlier this week, previously worked in Middle East equity and equity-derivative sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Dubai.

Goldman Sachs is joining banks from Renaissance Capital to Arqaam Capital Ltd. in expanding coverage in the Middle East and Africa as local markets rally and economic growth surges. Dubai’s benchmark index has advanced the most among 50 of the world’s largest equity gauges this year with a gain of 23 percent as the United Arab Emirates’ real-estate and banking industries recover from a property crash.

The U.A.E. was raised to emerging-market status from frontier by index provider MSCI Inc. in 2013, potentially paving the way for greater foreign investment in the nation. Dubai, the Arab world’s business hub, is gearing up to host the World Expo in 2020 with $8 billion of infrastructure spending.

Renaissance, the Russian investment bank controlled by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is planning to open an office in the city to take advantage of the rising demand for assets in the oil-rich region, while Dubai-based Arqaam will start trading African bonds and derivatives.-Bloomberg