Banks Are Mideast’s Keenest Recruiters as Governments Spend

Banks and financial firms are increasing hiring at the fastest pace among Middle East employers as the region’s economies improve and governments plan infrastructure projects, according to recruiters Monster Worldwide Inc.

Demand for banking and finance professionals jumped in March, with a 65 percent increase in job postings from a year earlier, data from the Monster Employment Index Middle East published Tuesday show. Job listings for financial positions climbed 38 percent in the United Arab Emirates, home to the region’s main financial hub.

“Banks are hiring as economies improve and infrastructure projects move at a rapid pace,” Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com for India, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, said by telephone from Delhi. “Banks are needed to help with the financial planning of these projects and everything that goes with them,” he said. He wouldn’t identify banks that are recruiting.

The economy in Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, is rebounding as equity and property markets recover. The opening of Saudi Arabia’s stock market to foreign investors and a revival of deals are prompting banks and brokerages to renew hiring after many cut teams during the financial crisis.

The second-most active recruiters across the Middle East were hospitality companies, according to Monster.com. The conclusions were based on an analysis by the recruitment company of online job posting in the Middle East, it said.

Saudi Arabia

Banking and finance professionals in the Middle East are seeking new jobs after bonuses failed to meet expectations, eFinancial Careers said in May. Almost 60 percent of the region’s financial services employees said they planned to change position, with 45 percent saying they were disappointed with their bonus, the company said in a report at the time.

Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG are among financial institutions seeking to hire traders in Dubai and Saudi Arabia as the nation prepares to open its stock market to foreign investors, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Still, demand from financial industry employers since the start of the year has been “quite controlled,” Modi said. “While hiring continues to be positive in the sector, the pace has moderated.”

Theme Parks

Dubai developers are building the world’s tallest ferris wheel and five theme parks to add to attractions in the city popular with tourists from China, Russia, India and the rest of the Middle East.

Union Properties PJSC, one of Dubai’s oldest real estate developers, said in March that it is in talks with local banks to borrow about 700 million dirhams ($191 million) to fund new projects. Damac Properties Dubai Co. PJSC said in February that it plans to recreate a tropical rainforest under a dome in the desert sheikdom.

The U.A.E.’s seven emirates don’t tax regular income or bonuses. Dubai International Financial Centre, a tax-free business park, houses regional offices of banks including Deutsche Bank, Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc.

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