Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher asserted that international investors consider Saudi Arabia an attractive market that provides possibility to achieve growth, saying that this is represented in the strong performance of sovereign bonds issuance.
In Asharq Al-Awsat interview, Kelleher said that Saudi Vision 2030 provides a clear road-map towards achieving development and prosperity, adding that the kingdom has several promising sectors for foreign investors, especially that Morgan Stanley doesn’t focus on one sector only.
On Morgan Stanley evaluation of the Saudi finance market and expectations of economic growth in the kingdom in 2018, Kelleher didn’t deny that the kingdom will face some challenges in the future, but expressed confidence in its capability to deal with them successfully – a point of view that is supported by international entities such as the IMF.
Ten years after the inauguration of Morgan Stanley office in Riyadh, Kelleher declared that much has changed in the last decade since the inauguration, noting that the kingdom and the Gulf were of the prime markets of Morgan Stanley since around 40 years.
Since the inauguration, many achievements were made. In 2008, Morgan Stanley was the first investment bank to conduct swap deal on behalf of a non-resident foreign investor.
Speaking on how could the Saudi Vision 2030 affect international firms’ investments, the president of Morgan Stanley stated that all investors and international firms see the vision as positive. He added that the vision goals are clear and this is something positive that serves comprehensive economic growth.
As for sectors that are considered profitable, Kelleher said that the kingdom has several promising sectors for foreign investors, given that the Saudi Vision 2030 will provide huge investment opportunities in various sectors. There are several positive economic and demographic factors that could push the kingdom’s economy, added Kelleher.
He expressed keenness to reinforce Morgan Stanley existence in the kingdom and to invest more in resources as long as there is such a wish from clients and an attractive opportunity to do that.
As for the drop in oil prices, Kelleher said that there will be no challenges in the kingdom’s growth because oil prices have become more stable in the past two years.
As for correcting energy prices to go in tandem with international standards, he considered that a good example of a government dedicated to build a strong economy on the long term.