Three reasons why global banks continue to expand in Saudi Arabia
Financial institutions see opportunities in the new political order
Financial heavyweights such as HSBC are looking at ways to capitalise on the growing Saudi market. IPO activity: Obviously, Aramco is dominating the IPO scene but there are other share sales – and their fees – that banks are now eyeing. FlyNas, for instance, is using Citigroup to advise it on its IPO, scheduled for late 2018, with Morgan Stanley and NCB Capital also advising. Saudi is aiming to raise $200bn via privatisation plans in 16 industry sectors. Emerging market status: In June last year, it was revealed that MSCI was planning to upgrade KSA to emerging market status and including it in its Emerging Market fund. The Tadawul’s global exposure is attracting the likes of Deutsche Bank, which has built a 90-person team to capitalise on opportunities in local stocks. Bond sales: Although it might not rival 2017, there is still plenty of debt-raising going on that can earn banks sizeable fees. The kingdom’s latest dollar denominated bond issue has been increased from $10bn to $16bn due to demand, and authorities have appointed a number of banks – HSBC and JPMorgan Chase among them – to help arrange the sale.