RIYADH: The global head of the French corporate and investment bank NATIXIS said Saudi Arabia’s economic strength has been a significant draw for the company’s expansion in the Kingdom despite ongoing political unrest and economic uncertainty in the Middle East.
Marc Vincent said his company had ambitions for their presence in Saudi Arabia and that they could bring “credibility and expertise” to the region.
NATIXIS is a subsidiary of the larger BPCE bank, which holds a more than 70 percent share of the investment and corporate bank, while the remaining 30 percent is floated on the Paris Stock Exchange.
Speaking on the sidelines of the third edition of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he explained that the bank had wide-ranging assets across the world worth more than $1 trillion.
The bank only recently made the decision to set up in Saudi Arabia and is currently waiting for final approval.
He said it was decided it was important to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia despite the political instability in the region, because of the nature of the state of the Kingdom’s market and the ongoing changes.
“We have ambitions about our presence in the Saudi market,” he explained.
Saudi Arabia’s Aramco plant was targeted by multiple drone attacks on Sept. 14, causing a short-term reduction in production.
“We are still coming to the Kingdom because it is a major economy in the region. We feel that the expertise that we are going to deliver to our client is fitted with the needs of the region. We are very confident again that we can bring our own expertise.”
He added that the company planned to place its emphasis on what they call “green business.”
“It is for us a bet on the strength of the Saudi Arabian economy and its prospect. We fully understand that it is a region that has a number of challenges but at the same time we are confident that there is a positive evolution.”
On the future of the market in Saudi Arabia, he said: “I believe that we can match the number of priorities in the Kingdom. We are global players and we feel strongly about our abilities to provide an added value solution.”
He said they planned to work with a number of energy sector companies.
“I think when I look at the region and I look at our expertise, there is a perfect match between the needs of Saudi clients and what we can offer.”