Fitch Ratings has announced that its Dubai branch (Fitch Dubai) has been granted a licence by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
With the licence taking effect from 6 April, Fitch Dubai is now able to provide credit ratings to "onshore" entities listed on the UAE SCA-controlled stock exchanges. This includes those listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).
In accordance with the licensing requirements, Fitch Dubai moved its office onshore last year from Dubai Media City Free Zone to the Dubai World Trade Centre. As a branch of Fitch's UK-registered Fitch Ratings Ltd, it also continues to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
"Fitch's new SCA licence is another key milestone in our ongoing commitment to the Middle East region," said Mr Jay Leitner, head of Fitch Ratings Business and Relationship Management, Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa.
"Our credit ratings can help support the development of local capital markets through bringing greater transparency to investors, debt issuers and broader market participants alike. We look forward to developing our relationship with the SCA going forwards," added Mr Leitner.
Fitch Ratings has a well-established presence in the Middle East, having opened its regional hub in Dubai in 2006. Its rating portfolio includes over 125 issuers in 10 Middle Eastern countries across a diverse range of sectors. Fitch Ratings opened a second regional office in Riyadh in 2017.