Qatar's financial regulator said Wednesday that it has authorized JPMorgan Chase & Co. to begin operating in the Persian Gulf Arab state, as the country looks to expand its emerging business hub.

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority said in an e-mailed statement that JPMorgan Chase's branch in the Qatar financial center is licensed "to arrange credit facilities, deals in investments," and to offer "custody services," as well as to advise on investments. The authorization took place Jan 5.

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