ING Group has set up a dedicated investment management business in Dubai, making it the first global financial institution to do so.

ING Investment Management will produce and export locally developed Middle East and North Africa (Mena) investment vehicles from its base in Dubai for investors globally and will offer a wide range of products to regional investors. ING Investment Management is the specialist investment arm of ING Group, with more than Ç600 billion in assets under management.

ING Investment Management says its arrival in the Middle East signals greater maturity of the regionÆs economies and will further bring the local markets into the global investment spotlight. Interest in the Mena region has certainly been rising due to its sustainable economic growth and capital market developments. A good number of local specialists have been on the ground in the region for years and an increasing number of fund houses worldwide are staring to pay attention.

ôGlobal investors remain considerably unexposed to the robustness of this region. The demand is there, especially from OECD investors mired by the credit crunch, but the supply is not,ö says Grant Bailey, CEO of ING Investment Management Middle East. ôBy putting an investment team on the ground here, ING is able to develop high performing local funds, then export these through our extensive global network.ö

The fund house will launch its first Mena equities fund in the third quarter of 2008 and expects more than half of its commitments to come from global institutional investors. The firm will also offer regional investors access to financial vehicles.

ôFor now ING is unique in that we are the only international asset management firm in the Middle East to set up a local engine with absolute global reach,ö says Bailey. ôNot only are we offering an extensive offshore product range, we are also introducing onshore product development.ö

With a presence in more than 30 countries, including some of the worldÆs fastest growing economies such as China, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe, ING Investment Management ranks as a leader in emerging markets. The firm will offer tailor made solutions to governments, banks, corporates, pension funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals looking to invest in the Mena region through a team of fund managers and analysts.

ING Investment ManagementÆs Middle Eastern operations are licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and run by a team of multilingual regional and international investment professionals. Its investment style seeks to deliver consistent returns while preserving capital in a disciplined and risk controlled manner.