US bank Morgan Stanley has more than tripled its leased fuel storage capacity in the Middle East to over 1.5 million barrels, as it looks to strengthen its regional trading presence.
It is claimed that it signals its intent to use the storage to launch new trading plays in the Mediterranean as well as East and North Africa.
Morgans latest lease of 75,000 to 80,000m3 (approx. 500,000 barrels) of oil storage for refined fuel products in the UAE port of Fujairah is a significant expansion in the region where it already holds a joint-venture storage lease of around 80,000m3 with Kuwaits IPG, and is also contracted to take up 100,000m3 of clean petroleum storage in Saudi Arabias Red Sea port of Yanbu.
Morgan is the only Wall Street bank to have developed a niche in the physical oil market. It has for years run a large business buying, selling, transporting and storing jet fuel and gas oil, and is one of the largest importers into the US.