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Friday, Nov 08, 2002

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Barjeel extends reach to US, Europe via Refco tie-up

Vimala Vasan


BARJEEL Securities, the joint venture between Indian firm Geojit Securities and Al Saud Group of Sharjah, has entered into a strategic relationship with the financial services organisation, Refco Group Ltd, US, to offer trading in the US and European markets and other major Asian markets for investors in the UAE.

Barjeel, which is the only brokerage house in the UAE dealing in the Indian capital market, will now offer clients the opportunity to invest in all the major stock exchanges of the world. The company will also distribute offshore funds and bonds to investors.

Mr A.P. Kurian, Chairman of Geojit Securities and also Chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds of India, who is in Dubai in connection with the launch of Barjeel's US and European markets operation on Thursday, told Business Line that this initiative had been launched to provide the latest and wider opportunities for investors. "We are graduating ourselves to the international market through this move and the tie-up will enable investors to access well-diversified portfolios across the globe and thereby maximise returns and minimise their risk profile," he said.

Mr C.J. George, Managing Director of Geogjit, said that Geojit would gain experience of the international markets through Barjeel's tie-up with Refco. It would enable the firm to benefit at a later stage, when capital account convertibility would become a reality in India and Indian investors could access the international markets, he said.

NRIs would stand to gain from Barjeel's entry into the US and European markets as it would enable retail NRI investors with medium sized disposable funds to also access western markets, he added.

Mr George said that Refco was the world's largest non-bank futures commission merchant, with more than $3.3 billion in global client equity and was ranked the seventh largest futures broker in the December 2001 issue of Futures magazine. It has operations in 14 countries and extensive global institutional client base.

"Barjeel's association with Refco will help us obtain better domain knowledge on world markets and enable investors to hedge risks," Mr George said. He referred to Geojit's good performance results in the first half of the current fiscal and indicated an anticipated growth in the NRI segment following the opening of a second office for Barjeel in Abu Dhabi recently.

Sheikh Sultan bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of Barjeel, said that a weekly training programme would be initiated for retail investors in the UAE on the fundamentals of scientific investments, according to a statement from Barjeel. Mr Robert Tan, Managing Director of Refco, Asia, said that the alliance would open a new chapter in the financial markets in the Gulf region.

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