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Citigroup plans hiring drive as it re-enters Saudi Arabia

The bank obtained a licence in April to conduct capital markets business in Saudi Arabia

Reuters  |  Riyadh 

A Citigroup office is seen at Canary Wharf in London. (Photo: Reuters)
A Citigroup office is seen at Canary Wharf in London. (Photo: Reuters)

wants to hire up to 20 bankers in Saudi Arabia, where it plans to formally begin operations in the first quarter after obtaining an investment banking licence in the kingdom, a senior executive said. Saudi Arabia's economic reform programme would create investment banking opportunities through privatisations and by encouraging more savings by the population, Carmen Haddad, chief executive officer of Citi Saudi Arabia, told Reuters.

The bank obtained a licence in April to conduct capital markets business in Saudi Arabia, a move enabling to return to the kingdom to offer banking services after an absence of almost 13 years.

More than a dozen foreign banks have licences to operate branches in Several lenders want to build a presence as opportunities emerge from the kingdom's reforms to wean the economy off a reliance on oil revenues.

The opportunities include an array of privatisations such as the government's plan to list up to 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco in an initial public share offering.

They also include steps such as raising the proportion of Saudis who own homes and encouraging more consumers to save.

Citi exited in 2004, when it sold a 20 per cent stake in In 2015, it obtained permission from the Saudi regulator to invest directly in the country's stock market.

First Published: Wed, October 25 2017. 19:07 IST
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