Bank of New York Mellon Corp. plans to set up an office in Saudi Arabia as early as the second quarter as it looks for more opportunities to give service to kingdom's overseas assets, say sources familiar with the matter.

The bank, which is planning to apply for an asset services license from the Capital Market Authority, according to the sources, is the latest foreign bank aiming to strengthen its presence in the kingdom as it goes on board in huge reform push.

Saudi Arabia-based Office

BNY Mellon already handles overseas funds held by the Saudi government-linked units from outside the kingdom. However, setting up an office in Riyadh will make it possible to work closely with its clients and solicit new business. At first, the bank will have an office with around 5 staffs, the sources said.

“BNY Mellon has been exploring opportunities and the possibility of establishing a presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for some time.  These plans are still in development stage. Accordingly, we are not in a position to discuss our future plans at this time,” the bank said in a statement.

Apparently, the bank sees more opportunities to provide depositary and trustee services to large Saudi units with overseas business such as Saudi Aramco, Public Investment Fund (PIF) and others.

BNY Mellon, which has been operative in the Middle East for nearly 100 years, currently has offices in four countries in the region: the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Turkey, according to its website.

It manages the money of big influential investors and provides depositary and trustee services to issuers of debt and equity in international capital markets, as well as trade and payment services to local commercial banks.

Aramco & PIF

Aramco is getting on what is likely to be the world’s largest initial public offering, due to go ahead in the second half of 2018, a centerpiece of an ambitious plan to cut down the dependence of the Saudi economy on oil.

PIF, the country’s main sovereign wealth fund, is planning to bolster its overseas investments in order to get the technology for Saudi industry and increase returns on Saudi Arabia’s financial reserves.

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