The Dubai International Financial Centre, or DIFC, said on Monday that deposits out of the global financial hub have grown in the past three years at an average annual rate of 39 per cent to reach $12.8 billion at the end of Q1 2012. Loans and advances of DIFC’s regulated entities rose over the same period at an average annual rate of 40 per cent to reach $14.7 billion. Assets under management at DIFC-based companies remained steady, and recorded $8.1 billion during the period. Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive officer of the DIFC Authority said the numbers were testament to the successful growth in the breadth and depth of financial activity within DIFC due to the diverse services provided by the regulated firms. “As one of the global financial hubs, it is natural that we are observing an influx of new companies from around the world, especially banking and financial services firms, who are attracted by the vast opportunities the region offers.” “Our effort toward enhancing DIFC’s legal and regulatory framework as well as its physical infrastructure positions DIFC as an ideal platform for regional and international growth,” said Al Awar. He said DIFC continued to grow steadily as one of the world’s established financial centres. “As of March 2012, the DIFC community comprised 861 active registered companies (322 regulated and 539 non-regulated companies); already two per cent up on 2011 numbers.” Dr Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist at the DIFC, said the hub is the only international financial centre that collects and publishes financial activity data of its registered entities. “What the data clearly shows is that DIFC entities have witnessed continued real growth over the past three years, despite the international financial crisis and regional events. “Deposits and credit growth rates of DIFC-based companies have also been substantially higher compared to those of the GCC area banks. We expect higher growth to continue as DIFC-based companies expand their activities further.” The DIFC is home for 21 of the world’s top 30 global banks, 8 of the top global money managers, 6 of the 10 largest insurers and six of the top 10 law firms in the world. The DIFC statistics are collected from different sources. The DIFC Economics team and the Dubai Financial Services Authority provided data and estimates. Other information, including data on deposits, credits, and assets under management outside the DIFC, were collected from monetary and statistical authorities’ websites and other databases.