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Dubai’s Shuaa to lay-off 29 in first phase of job cuts

Shuaa Capital will lay-off 29 of its employees in the first phase of a planned redundancy program aimed at boosting profitability at the struggling Dubai-based investment bank, it said on Sunday.

December 4, 2011 9:51 by

Shuaa, which helped float ports operator DP World several years ago, said the entire cost-cutting programme, which will take a number of weeks to complete, will have a “significant” positive impact on its profits going forward.

The majority of the redundancies relate to the retail brokerage business, which Shuaa’s plans to exit after slumping trade volumes in the United Arab Emirates, it said in a bourse statement.

“Markets have been challenging for the entire industry in 2011, and we expect conditions to be much the same for the next few quarters,” Michael Philipp, Shuaa’s recently-named chief executive said.

“We expect the cost cutting measures to have a significant positive impact on our bottom line going forward.”

Shuaa also named Houssem Ben Haj Amour as its new finance director, replacing Paul Kelly. Amour’s appointment is effective immediately, the bank said.

One of the Arab world’s largest investment banks and once a 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 50 percent year-to-date.

Shuaa named former Credit Suisse banker Michael Philipp as its new chief executive in October, replacing Sameer Al Ansari. Philipp is shifting the bank’s focus to high-net worth and institutional clients, he said in an interview after the appointment. (Reporting by Dinesh Nair, Editing by Shaheen Pasha)

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