Swiss bank picks Bahrain for MidEast HQ

Bahrain officials hail decision by BSI Bank which has $85bn assets under management
Swiss bank picks Bahrain for MidEast HQ
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 09 Nov 2012 10:05 AM

Bahrain officials have hailed the decision by BSI Bank, one of the oldest banks in Switzerland, to base its regional headquarters in Bahrain as a boost to the kingdom's financial sector.

BSI Bank, which has assets under management in excess of $85bn, is the latest in a string of leading international financial services firms who have decided to locate in the kingdom.

In the last year, Notz Stucki, Canara Bank and PineBridge Investments have all opened regional offices in Bahrain which is now host to more than 400 financial institutions.

Bahrain Economic Development Board was involved in the intial process of the conversion of BSI Bank's representative office in Bahrain into a full licence.

In the past year, BSI Bank has tripled the size of their team in Bahrain and the new licence will allow the bank to provide the region with comprehensive wealth planning services.

The company is seeking to take advantage of the growing demand for wealth management services in the GCC.

Edmondo Sarteur, chief executive of BSI Bahrain, said: "We believe that Bahrain is the ideal place for BSI to locate its Middle East operations, and I am delighted to welcome our Group CEO, whose visit is a reflection of BSI Bank's commitment to Bahrain and our business in the GCC."

Kamal bin Ahmed, acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "We are delighted that BSI Bank has decided to establish their regional headquarters in Manama.

"Their decision to expand their operations is a reflection of the enduring strength of Bahrain's financial services sector and GCC economy which now exceeds 1 trillion dollars."

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