BlackRock opens Saudi office

BlackRock_branchUS-based BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has opened its office in Saudi Arabia. Based in Riyadh, it will be led by Yazeed Almubarak, formerly of Morgan Stanley and Saudi bank, Jadwa Investment. The plans for a presence in the kingdom were announced in 2017 in the midst of crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s push to attract large global financial firms as part of his economic reform. These reforms were affected in 2018 from the fallout of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and while BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink pulled out of a scheduled appearance at Bin Salman’s high profile investment conference, he also insisted that BlackRock would not cut ties with the kingdom. “The fact that there are issues in the press doesn’t tell me I should run from a place, it tells me we should run to a place,” said Fink earlier this year, praising the kingdom’s economic reforms as “pretty amazing”. Fink also said that BlackRock was a substantial investor in the bond issue from oil firm Saudi Aramco earlier this year. ©2019 funds global mena

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