Merrill turns to Gulf in face of US crisis

Financial Crisis Posted on

Merrill Lynch & Co. plans to expand its operations in the Gulf in the face of the escalating US financial crisis, its chief executive told reporters in Dubai on Monday.

John Thain said the US bank plans to open up new offices in Kuwait and Qatar before the end of the year and increase its wealth management business.

"In spite of all the financial difficulties and concern about the global economy we continue to be optimistic about our presence here [in the Gulf] and we are certainly committed to continue to grow our presence here," Thane said.

However, Thane said the Gulf is not immune to the global economic downturn and predicted economies in the region will slow.

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