State Street Opens Saudi Office as It Expands Into Middle East

State Street Corp. opened its first office in Saudi Arabia and hired Abdullah Saleh Bakhrebah from Ashmore Group Plc as chief executive officer for its operations in the kingdom.

The Boston-based financial-services firm is entering Saudi Arabia as part of its plans to boost its presence in the Middle East, State Street said in a statement Thursday. It also hired Haifa Al Goufi as Middle East and North Africa chief compliance officer and Hassan Al Khalaf as chief financial officer for the region.

International banks and investment firms including BlackRock Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG have opened offices in Saudi Arabia or increased their presence as the kingdom diversifies from oil and opens up its capital markets to foreign investors.

“Saudi Arabia itself is a strategically important country for State Street, ” said Jörg Ambrosius, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Having an office here is absolutely vital for us to fulfill our ambitious growth plans for the region.”

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