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Fuelling Corporate Growth in Middle East & North Africa

by Asif Raza, Managing Director, Head of Treasury & Securities Services, MENA, J.P. Morgan, Farrukh Siddiqui, Managing Director, Regional Head of Trade, MEA, Treasury Services, J.P. Morgan, and Tristan Attenborough, Managing Director & Country Head, Saudi Arabia, Treasury & Securities Services, J.P. Morgan

The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is one of the most culturally and historically rich regions of the world, offering a wealth of natural resources with both the appetite and potential for enormous growth and diversification. At J.P. Morgan, the fourteen countries that comprise MENA are central to our growth and investment strategy as we anticipate and respond to growing interest in the region amongst the large multinational corporations that comprise our customer base. In this article, we discuss the growing importance of MENA to our customers, and how we are supporting their strategic plans in the region.

Investing in regional growth

J.P. Morgan has a long and illustrious heritage in MENA, with a steady expansion in the depth and geographic reach of our activities ever since we first established ourselves in Saudi Arabia in 1933. Over recent years, we have further increased our commitment to the region, with 200 professionals now based in MENA, an increase of 75% over the past 18 months, and with 250 anticipated by the end of 2012. Not only have we expanded our reach across the MENA countries, but we provide our financial institution and corporate customers with a full range of services across commercial banking, treasury and securities services, trade services, investment banking and asset management.

This investment has enabled us to consolidate our reputation as the leading global bank supporting financial institutions in MENA, whilst also providing support to the increasing number of non-financial corporations that are expanding their business in the region. We continue to see and experience a surge of demand for trade finance services, not least due to the expanding trade corridors between Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, and the importance of Dubai as the world’s third largest export transit centre. Moreover, building a comprehensive range of local services, such as a wholesale bank in Saudi Arabia and extending our business across the United Arab Emirates, will allow us to support the needs of local corporates that are expanding internationally.