BofA Said to Hire VTB Capital’s Nsouli for MENA Equities

Bank of America Corp. (BAC)’s Merrill Lynch unit is hiring the head of VTB Capital’s Middle East cash-equity sales and sales trading in Dubai, Karim Nsouli, two people familiar with the matter said.

Nsouli will take over from Veer Ramlugon, who handled Middle East equity and equity-derivatives for BofA Merrill Lynch in Dubai, the people said yesterday, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Nsouli declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News on his mobile phone, while spokesmen for VTB and Bank of America didn’t immediately return calls.

Banks and brokerages are rebuilding their operations in the Persian Gulf emirate as the pipeline of initial public offerings picks up and the DFM General Index extends the world’s biggest rally after more than doubling in 2013. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is restarting Middle East equity sales, two people familiar with the matter said March 7, while Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Renaissance Capital is recruiting for a new Middle East equities business.

Dubai’s economy expanded about 4.9 percent in 2013, four years after it was rescued from the brink of default with a bailout from neighboring Abu Dhabi. Dubai this week agreed with Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates central bank to refinance $20 billion of debt at a fixed interest rate of 1 percent as it seeks to restore investor confidence. Some brokerages cut jobs in Dubai during the global financial crisis.

Goldman Sachs is hiring Ramlugon from Bank of America for equity sales in Dubai, two people with knowledge of the appointment said this month. Renaissance Capital is poaching Ahmed Badr, Credit Suisse Group AG’s head of Middle East and North Africa equities in Riyadh, to lead its regional stocks business, two people familiar with the move said March 5.

Nsouli joined VTB Capital more than two years ago as part of the company’s plans to boost its MENA investment-banking business. Prior to that, he was head of MENA sales trading at Credit Suisse.

Dubai’s DFM General Index is up 28 percent this year, the most among 94 global benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in London at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daliah Merzaban at dmerzaban@bloomberg.net; Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net Matthew Brown

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