The Middle East is enjoying a “golden era” as global tensions push money and talent into the region, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s European boss Viswas Raghavan.
(Bloomberg) — The Middle East is enjoying a “golden era” as global tensions push money and talent into the region, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s European boss Viswas Raghavan.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television, Raghavan said there’s been a jump in dealmaking and capital market opportunities in numerous countries in the last few quarters.
“You’re seeing a real kind of swagger as countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, all are pretty well positioned, both for attracting money managers, hedge funds, to also their own domestic economies becoming mainstream,” he said. “This is a golden era for Middle Eastern companies and in general, the Middle East. I think that it’s here to stay.”
The Saudi stock market saw a bevy of listings last month, in a sign of revived interest following a virtual standstill at the start of the year. Government efforts in the region to diversify economies away from oil are also boosting the finance industry.
Raghavan, who is JPMorgan’s chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the global outlook for investment banking was showing “some green shoots,” particularly in technology, though the pipeline was “not going to be a deluge.” The banking fee pool across the industry is set to be an “anemic” $65 billion this year, compared to a typical year of about $80 billion, he added.
The London-based banker said the UK’s reforms to open up its stock market, “in terms of increasing its attractiveness, will undoubtedly help.” And with national elections expected next year, Raghavan said his firm would work with whichever party wins.
“In our interactions with Labour they seem exceptionally business-friendly, and I think they understand the importance of the City of London to the broader UK economy,” he said.
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