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Citigroup to up headcount in Saudi Arabia amid possible hike in foreign inflows

Citigroup Inc.'s Carmen Haddad, the chief country officer for Saudi Arabia, said the bank is looking to increase its headcount in the kingdom to "about 20" in 2019, up from the existing "14-15 people on the ground," amid an expected influx of foreign investment in the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Bloomberg News reported May 16.

This development comes after the U.S.-based group secured regulatory approval to start cash-equities trading and custody services in Saudi Arabia in April, on the heel of interest from a number of foreign banks to acquire licenses for operating in the kingdom, the newswire said.

Haddad said the team, which focuses on equities, M&A, capital market debt and equity origination, among other things, is looking to add a "few traders" as well as some middle office staff, and should be ready to function in a few months.

Earlier in March, global index providers FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones Indices included the Saudi stock exchange in their respective emerging markets indexes. Saudi Arabia is also scheduled to join MSCI Inc.'s benchmark emerging markets index starting June 2019.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.