New bankers are to hired by Standard Chartered as the lender focuses on sustainable finance, project finance and capital markets in Saudi Arabia which, according to the bank, will turn out to become a “front-runner” for its regional business in coming years.
According to a senior executive of the bank, banking services through its branch in Saudi Arabia are already being offered by Standard Chartered. The unit currently has 25 people. It was granted a banking license to operate in the nation in 2019 which allowed it to offer services in addition to the capital markets business it has been running in the kingdom since 2011.
“This has just been a start and we will continue to add as business grows. We have the capacity to quite easily double what we have currently,” Sunil Kaushal, the bank’s regional CEO for Africa and Middle East, said, referring to staff numbers.
“Do remember we have a large presence in the regional office, so some of it will be fresh hires, some of it will be moves from here to the kingdom,” he told the media.
The branch in Saudi Arabia was formally inaugurated earlier this week by Fahad al-Mubarak, governor of the Saudi Central Bank, during a roundtable session in Riyadh.
Working with subsidiaries of global corporates and financial institutions will be the strategy of the bank in Saudi Arabia, Kaushal said, while also being a part of the transactions that contribute to the country’s economic development.
Another huge business opportunity in the Saudi Arabian market is Islamic banking, he said.
“For many years to come Saudi Arabia would be – for this region Africa and the Middle East – frontrunner when it comes to contribution,” Kaushal said.
Within the Africa and the Middle East regionof the bank, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya are its largest markets at present.
Standard Chartered was also part of the banking consortium that were hired to lead the inaugural dollar sukuk issue of the state owned energy giant Saudi Aramco which helped the company to raise $6 billion earlier this year.
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, its sovereign wealth fund, had also hired Standard Chartered, among other banks, as members of an ESG panel for its medium-term capital-raising strategy, according to reports from IFR News.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)