HSBC Holdings Plc (NYSE: HSBC) plans to attempt on one of the biggest economic transformations attempted by any country by planning to add staff to their operations in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a reform program called Vision 2030 to diversify the economy and end their reliance on oil exports which has opened many opportunities for investment banks. He plans to raise $100 billion through the listing of 5% of state oil firm, Saudi Aramco at home and on one or more overseas markets. The Saudi stock market will be opened up as well where it could attract up to $20 billion in foreign capital and can encourage local people to save more.
Big investment banks already race to grab deals in the Saudi market. In April, Citigroup obtained a Saudi investment banking license and Goldman Sachs has applied to the capital markets regulator for a license to trade equities. JP Morgan also is adding bankers while Credit Suisse plans to apply for a full banking license.
HSBC plans to hire some new staff and relocate some existing 12,000 employees to the kingdom where there is already staff across the Middle East as well as North Africa. The bank is the largest international bank in the region, the number one adviser for mergers, acquisitions, and debt deals in Saudi Arabia, and is number five for equity capital markets so far this year.