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Wed 17 Oct 2012 02:46 PM

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Credit Suisse's top MidEast banker resigns

Co-CEO Bassam Yammine quits bank to pursue personal business interests

Credit Suisse's top MidEast banker resigns
Bassam Yammine has resigned to pursue personal business interests, the Swiss lender said on Wednesday.

Bassam Yammine, Credit Suisse's top Middle East investment banker and the co-CEO for the bank's operations in the region, has resigned to pursue personal business interests, the Swiss lender said on Wednesday.

Yammine, who joined Credit Suisse 2007 and is among the senior most banking figures in the region, will stay until the end of 2012 to assist in the handover process, Credit Suisse said in an emailed statement.

Big US and European banks are cutting investment banking jobs in the Middle East as the promise of emerging markets is eclipsed by a need to cut costs and a dearth of deal activity.

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and Japan's Nomura Holdings have all cut jobs in their investment banking teams in the region.

Globally, Credit Suisse is in the middle of a programme to cut costs by the end of 2013.

Yammine ran the bank's operations in the Middle East along with Bruno Daher, who is also the head of private banking for the Middle East and Indian sub-continent.

Under Yammine, who headed its investment banking and asset management businesses in the region, Credit Suisse has been strengthening its ties with Gulf Cooperation Council countries, mainly Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The bank advised sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding on several deals including high-profile purchases of stakes in German auto maker Porsche and the acquisition of London's famed Harrods department store.

Qatar is the top shareholder in Credit Suisse with a 6.2 percent stake, followed by Saudi Arabia's Olayan Group. Both Gulf groups took part in a 2012 capital raising.

Credit Suisse has a strong investment banking presence in Qatar run by Aladdin Hangari, who was appointed under Yammine. Saad Bennani, based in Dubai, was named the co-head of the Middle East investment bank along with Yammine last year.

Credit Suisse is planning to trim its investment banking team in Dubai and relocate some junior analysts to neighbouring Qatar as part of its efforts to cut costs.

Earlier, Reuters reported Yammine's departure citing two sources familiar with the matter, with one of them adding the bank was yet to announce a replacement.

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