In the past two years, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) added over 20 onshore capital markets bankers in Saudi Arabia, and expanding its direct custody segment in the country by hiring bankers.

Citi to hire more direct custody bankers in Saudi Arabia

Citigroup returned to the oil-rich nation in 2018 following a 13-year break after it received a capital markets permit. Last year the bank announced plans to expand direct custody services in the country. Its Europe, Middle East, and Africa Head, David Livingstone, stated that there is no set schedule for the bank to receive a full banking license in the country. He, however, stated that the outlook in the financial sector looked promising.

Livingstone stated that they are focusing on growing direct custody and clearing services following award of a license. The segment offers services ranging from trade execution to institutional investor customers to clearing. Last year the bank offered consultancy services to Saudi Aramco, leading to $29.4 billion IPO.

According to Livingstone, the bank isn’t that cautious about lending Middle East oil producers despite lower prices of oil. He indicated that the low-cost base of most producers in the region offers the company an enhanced ability to weather lower oil prices for longer period than in other regions.

Citi delays plan to get employees back to offices

On July 1, 2020, the bank indicated that office return plans depended on data and not specific dates due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Citigroup is delaying the resumption of US employees to officers because of the surge in cases in several states across the US. The bank said that it will delay getting employees back to offices in 13 states that include Florida, Idaho, South Dakota, and Texas.

According to sources, the bank will bring around 5% of employees in the Northeast, including New York. Citi said that in the plans to return to the office, the priority will be safety and health of employees.

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