(Adds dropped word "said" in fifth paragraph)
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, April 18 Houlihan Lokey is
opening an office in Dubai in the second quarter aiming to
capitalise on opportunities in finance, M&A and other advisory
work in the Middle East and Africa, an executive at the company
Houlihan Lokey is the latest North American investment bank
to expand in the Middle East, where low oil prices have
increased demand for asset sales and debt refinancing.
Rival Evercore said on Tuesday it expected to open a
new office in Dubai in the second quarter of 2017.
Canada's Canaccord Genuity's aims to double the
contributions to its investment banking business from the Middle
East and India in the next five years, executives from the firm
told Reuters last month.
Houlihan Lokey sees opportunities in the region to bring in
outside capital whether it is from insurance companies, hedge
funds, private equity or others, Arun Reddy, a managing director
of the firm currently based in London, who will relocate to
Dubai to co-head the office, said.
Low oil prices have squeezed local banks' liquidity in the
Middle East, while sluggish economic growth has put more stress
on companies' finances, pushing them to look at asset sales and
Houlihan Lokey, which works on between 150 and 200 asset
sales a year, is top of the rankings of global investment
banking restructuring advisers and is in the top ten most active
global M&A advisers, according to Thomson Reuters 2016 data.
The bank, which has been granted a licence to operate in the
Dubai International Financial Centre, is already active in the
Middle East and Africa, acting on deals including advising the
Kuwaiti shareholders of Aston Martin on a debt restructuring
The company already has offices across the United States, as
well as Europe and Asia Pacific.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)