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Istithmar Opens in Shanghai

Istithmar, a Dubai-based private equity firm, has opened a new office in Shanghai, China. It is the firm's first office outside of the UAE and will be led by managing directors Gable Gao and Jane Shao.


Istithmar, the leading private equity and alternative investment house headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), has bolstered its international presence with the opening of a new office in Shanghai, The People's Republic of China.


The formal set-up of Istithmar in China represents the firm's first official international foray outside the UAE. In addition to targeting untapped opportunities in one of the world's key emerging markets, this move also signifies a major step forward in Istithmar's growth plans, and heralds the beginning of its expansion in prominent cities around the globe.


Khaled Al Kamda, Vice Chairman, Istithmar, said: “The opening of our office in Shanghai is a significant milestone in the corporate development of Istithmar: it underscores the strong Sino-Arab economical and political relations between the two regions; and demonstrates a major step forward in our international expansion plans. Given the immense growth in China, as well as key markets in Asia-Pacific, we are confident that a formal presence will serve as a strategic springboard in terms of sourcing for the best opportunities that add value to our investment portfolio.”

David Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Istithmar, said: “Istithmar has been experiencing phenomenal growth since its inception. Given our track record of striking significant investments on the international platform with precision, we believe a permanent ground presence in China will provide greater proximity to opportunities and developments in a rapidly developing Asia. This only serves to enhance and deepen our team's insights in our core expertise in the financial, consumer and industrial sectors. China is a true emerging market with strong potential for growth, and we are confident that our local presence will stand us in good stead in our quest for premium investments across all sectors.”

Prior to this formal set-up, Istithmar's earlier engagement with China had taken the form of a strategic acquisition of a 9.91% stake in Hans Energy Company Limited, the largest independent operator in the terminal and storage industry for oil and chemical products in South China. This investment had marked a significant milestone for Istithmar's investment strategy in China, underscoring the firm's confidence in the Chinese market.

Istithmar's office in Shanghai will be spearheaded by Mr. Gable Gao, Managing Director, and Ms. Jane Shao, Managing Director. Having worked in the investment banking arena since 1994 and 1995, Mr. Gao and Ms. Shao bring together a plethora of expertise in this sector. Mr. Gao joined Istithmar in 2006 and had previously worked for Dexia Credit Local, WestLB and Chase Securities Inc. in New York. Ms. Shao also joined Istithmar in 2006 and had previously worked for Chase Securities, CSFB and JP Morgan in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing.

About Istithmar:

Istithmar is a private equity and alternative investment house headquartered in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, with an office in Shanghai. Established in 2003, it is 100% owned by Dubai World which in turn is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai. In the three years since its inception, Istithmar has invested in over 35 companies in three sectors — consumer, industrial and financial services — deploying in excess of US$3 billion of capital. Istithmar's 'I' Investment Philosophy is based around three core principles — Ideas, Inquiry and Integrity — and is the foundation on which the firm has established a broad portfolio of highly successful investments in the markets from North America and Europe to Asia and the Middle East.



For further information, please contact: Hwee-Suan Ong or Mohamed Tahboub, BPG Public Relations, Tel: +971-50-786-2997, Fax: +971-4-295-1027; E-mail: or