Credit Suisse Group AG plans to expand its equities sales and research team in Saudi Arabia as the Arab world’s largest bourse opens to direct foreign investment.
The bank may also hire additional investment bankers if the opening of the $572 billion exchange to foreign investors leads to international banks winning more IPO mandates, Abdulaziz Bin Hassan, managing director and chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia, said in an interview in Riyadh. He declined to give more details how many people could be hired.
Foreigners will be able to start buying Saudi Arabian equities on June 15 under plans by the market regulator to attract more institutional investors onto the exchange. The opening will result in foreign inflows of about $40 billion over the next five years, Dubai-based Arqaam Capital said in a research note in April. Credit Suisse shifted its regional equities team from Dubai to Riyadh in late 2012.
Banks including Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Corp. are also planning to expand in Saudi Arabia, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg in March. Foreigners will be allowed to invest in the kingdom’s IPOs on a “case by case” basis starting this month, according to Mohammed Al Jadaan, head of the country’s Capital Market Authority.
“We’re building the team in Riyadh in terms of sales and equity research,” Bin Hassan said. “We look at Saudi Arabia as a very important growth market for us in the Middle East and are very interested in expanding investment banking operations here depending on how the market develops in 2-3 years’ time.”