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Rothschild's bold bet: Transforming Saudi Arabia’s future!

Transforming Saudi Arabia’s future

Edmond de Rothschild Group, a distinguished entity in asset management and private banking, is poised to expand its operations by inaugurating an office in Saudi Arabia later this year. This strategic move is part of a broader initiative to launch a specialized platform aimed at providing debt finance for infrastructure projects within the kingdom, a development the Swiss bank confirmed on Thursday. The decision to set up an office in Saudi Arabia underscores Edmond de Rothschild's commitment to enhancing its presence in the Middle East, reflecting its strategic vision of supporting large-scale economic initiatives and infrastructure developments in the region. The establishment of this office not only signifies a deepening of the bank's engagement with the Saudi market but also indicates a proactive approach to tapping into emerging opportunities within the kingdom.

The introduction of this platform is anticipated to play a crucial role in supporting Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 program, a comprehensive plan designed to diversify the nation’s economy and reduce its dependency on oil revenues. Vision 2030 outlines a transformative economic roadmap that aims to reshape the kingdom's economic landscape by promoting sustainable development across various sectors. Despite the grandeur of this vision, which includes initiatives to modernize infrastructure, develop non-oil industries, and enhance the quality of life for citizens, the plan has faced challenges in attracting significant foreign investment. This new platform from Edmond de Rothschild could serve as a catalyst for bridging this investment gap, facilitating the influx of international capital into Saudi infrastructure projects, and accelerating the realization of Vision 2030’s objectives.

Vision 2030, championed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman—who serves as the kingdom’s prime minister and the de facto head of government operations—encompasses a wide array of initiatives aimed at overhauling the Saudi economy. Central to this vision are plans to develop vast new urban areas and invest in various sectors, including tourism, entertainment, and technology, thereby creating thousands of new job opportunities. The prince’s vision is to transform the kingdom into a global hub for investment and innovation, fostering an environment conducive to economic growth and diversification. The plan also includes social reforms aimed at improving the quality of life for citizens and creating a more inclusive society. By aligning its new platform with these national priorities, Edmond de Rothschild is positioning itself as a pivotal player in the kingdom's economic transformation.

To effectively support the funding of these infrastructure projects, Edmond de Rothschild is partnering with SNB Capital. This collaboration aims to establish a robust financial framework capable of attracting and managing investments in Saudi infrastructure. The joint statement from the two companies emphasizes the strategic importance of this partnership, highlighting their shared commitment to facilitating the kingdom’s developmental goals. Through this alliance, Edmond de Rothschild and SNB Capital aim to leverage their combined expertise and resources to streamline the investment process, ensuring efficient allocation and utilization of funds for infrastructure projects. This partnership is expected to enhance the financial ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, making it more attractive for both domestic and international investors.

Edmond de Rothschild, with a substantial portfolio managing over 5 billion euros (approximately $5.4 billion) in infrastructure debt assets, is well-positioned to extend its expertise to the Saudi market. The Swiss bank’s extensive experience in infrastructure finance will be crucial in providing tailored advisory services to Saudi family offices and institutional investors. To this end, Edmond de Rothschild has formed a joint venture with Watar Partners. This collaboration is designed to deliver specialized infrastructure debt advisory services, offering customized solutions to meet the unique needs of Saudi investors. The partnership aims to build a robust advisory framework that can support large-scale infrastructure projects, ensuring they are financially viable and sustainable.

The operational launch of this partnership, along with the opening of the new office in Riyadh, is scheduled for the second half of this year. This timeline reflects Edmond de Rothschild’s strategic planning and commitment to establishing a solid foothold in the Saudi market. The bank's CEO, Ariane de Rothschild, expressed confidence in this expansion, citing the group’s long-standing business relationships within the country as a foundational strength. According to Ariane de Rothschild, this move is a logical next step for the bank, enabling it to build on existing partnerships and explore new opportunities for growth and collaboration in Saudi Arabia. This expansion is seen as part of the bank's broader strategy to enhance its global footprint and service offerings.

In addition to its plans for Saudi Arabia, Edmond de Rothschild has already made significant strides in the neighboring United Arab Emirates. Last year, the bank expanded its presence in Dubai by establishing an advisory office. This move highlights the bank’s commitment to strengthening its regional presence and providing comprehensive financial services across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The Dubai office serves as a strategic hub, facilitating closer engagement with clients and partners in the region. By expanding its operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Edmond de Rothschild aims to position itself as a leading financial institution in the Middle East, offering a wide range of asset management and private banking services tailored to the needs of regional clients.

Overall, Edmond de Rothschild’s expansion into Saudi Arabia and its collaboration with SNB Capital and Watar Partners represent a significant milestone in the bank’s strategic growth plan. By aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and leveraging its expertise in infrastructure finance, Edmond de Rothschild is poised to play a key role in the kingdom’s economic transformation. This expansion not only underscores the bank’s commitment to supporting regional development but also enhances its position as a trusted partner for investors seeking to capitalize on the opportunities in the Middle East. Through these strategic initiatives, Edmond de Rothschild is set to contribute to the sustainable economic growth and diversification of Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC region.

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