SocGen Sets Eyes on More Saudi Deals as Bank Expands in Mideast

(Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA expects to be part of some “very large” deals involving Saudi Arabia this year, the bank’s chief executive officer for the Middle East said.

“Saudi is the next big thing for us, so you will see us much more around very large Saudi Arabia transactions this year,” Richad Soundardjee said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. “We have reached a level of dialogue with the Saudi government that allows us to be more optimistic for the future.”

Saudi Arabia is attracting attention of the world’s biggest banks as it undergoes an economic transformation that includes raising debt through bond sales, creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and selling off stakes in government assets. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met with the heads of banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the U.S. last month as part of a tour promoting investments.

Societe Generale is planning to announce six new appointments in the Middle East across areas including structured finance, export finance and fixed income, Soundardjee said. The Paris-based lender on Monday said it created four new positions in its Middle East hub in Dubai.

Amine Jaoui will lead public sector coverage focusing on the bank’s relationships with governments, central banks and sovereign wealth funds, while Damien Pierron becomes head of family offices and holdings coverage, according to a statement. Rishmein Vallimamode has been appointed corporate derivatives sales specialist and Wassim Kesrouani named fixed income and currencies sales specialist.

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