x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Parent company of Saad unit in Dubai is liquidated in the UK

Dubai financial regulator advised that licence of SAAD Financial Advisory Services will be withdrawn.

The parent company of the Saad Group's Dubai investment unit has gone into liquidation in the UK. The liquidators of LA Investments (LAIL), a London-based investment vehicle belonging to the Saad Group, said yesterday they had advised the Dubai financial regulator they intended to withdraw the licence of SAAD Financial Advisory Services. The company is registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and has an office on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.

"There is no exposure in the centre of the DIFC and there is no client money at risk. We merely want to notify the public on the status of SAAD," said Michael Zamorski, the managing director, supervision, at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) which regulates the DIFC. "We have been informed they are looking at the entire group to satisfy all claimants of the liquidation. We are clearly [only] a small part of this," he said.

The liquidators at Grant Thornton could not be reached for comment about LAIL's estimated debt or the number of its creditors. In mid-June, the DFSA further restricted the company's licence. Typically, this means a firm cannot conduct any business without the prior consent of the DFSA. SAAD is a so-called "category 4" firm that cannot hold client money. It was licensed in November 2006. The DFSA said its only clients were Saad Group members.

LAIL was put into voluntary solvent liquidation last week. It advised financial companies within the Saad Group and its Bahrain-based Awal Bank on venture capital investments. Its Dubai unit does similar work and also collects fees for advising entities of the Saad Group. uharnischfeger@thenational.ae