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Dubai’s Shuaa plans more job cuts after Q3 loss

Shuaa Capital, the Dubai-based investment bank struggling to boost revenues, plans "significant" job cuts as part of the second phase of the cost savings program it launched this year.

November 20, 2011 11:25 by

Shuaa, which helped float ports operator DP World several years ago, posted a 156 million dirhams ($43 million) third-quarter loss weighed down by asset revaluations and a slump in core businesses.

The company plans “a reduction of administrative expenses, the amalgamation and further alignment of departments, a recalibration of budgets and a significant headcount reduction,” it said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

One of the Arab world’s largest investment banks and once symbol of the sector’s potential in the region, Shuaa was hit by the 2008 global financial downturn, with asset impairments erasing profits. Its stock has fallen 40 percent year-to-date.

In May, the bank said it would layoff 10.7 percent of its staff, or 39 jobs, to reduce costs after political unrest in the Gulf Arab region took a toll on quarterly results.

Shuaa named former Credit Suisse banker Michael Philipp as its new chief executive last month, replacing Sameer Al Ansari. Philipp is shifting the bank’s focus to high-net worth and institutional clients, he said in an October interview.

The bank is also moving away from retail brokerage after running a loss for the last two years, it said in the statement.

Turnover on Dubai’s bourse is set to slump to a seven-year low in 2011, with this year’s annual traded value likely to be less than a fifth of that of 2008.

Shuaa shares fell 6 percent on the Dubai index Sunday at 0622 GMT amid thin volume. They are down 91 percent from a 2008 peak, while Dubai’s index has fallen 78 percent over a similar period. (Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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