HSBC Boosts Saudi Investment Banking Team Amid Flurry of Deals

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(Bloomberg) —

HSBC Holdings Plc has hired at least five bankers in Saudi Arabia in recent months and moved one of its Dubai-based managing directors to Riyadh to help handle a surge in dealmaking activity in the biggest Gulf economy. 

Mehdi Benabdallah, a managing director at HSBC’s Middle East investment banking division, recently relocated to Riyadh from Dubai, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is confidential. HSBC has also hired Sofiane Bigdad from Nomura Holdings Inc. in London, Abdulaziz Behery from SNB Capital, and three junior bankers, the people said.

A spokesman for HSBC confirmed the hires but declined to provide further detail. 

International banks including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have been expanding in the kingdom following wide-ranging economic reforms that have sparked a flurry in capital markets activity. HSBC is working on several initial public offerings, including that of a refinery subsidiary partly owned by Saudi Aramco, Bloomberg reported in April.  

But the bank also faces competition for its bankers from Saudi government entities. HSBC associate director Saad AlMashari joined the Public Investment Fund last month to focus on the wealth fund’s Middle East and North Africa portfolio, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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