French bank Société Générale (SocGen) has established a structured finance platform in Dubai as it seeks to become a “partner of choice” for corporates, financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East.
The platform brings together project finance, export finance, asset finance and debt capital markets specialists from around the world in order to meet what SocGen describes in a statement as “growing demand from the region”.
“The expectation for lower oil prices in the medium term is creating a significant need for external funding, whether from banks or from capital markets,” said Richad Soundardjee, SocGen chief executive officer, Middle East, in the statement.
The new platform sees Charles Emmanuel de Beauregard relocate from the bank’s Paris headquarters. De Beauregard, a structured finance director, had responsibility for export, infrastructure and asset-based finance in the Middle East.
Joining him are Cem Orekli, a director of natural resources who has more than 14 years’ experience in energy finance in advisory and lending roles; and Karim El Zein, vice president of debt capital markets, who joins from Credit Suisse in London.
“With this new platform we are even more relevant as our local pool of specialists can originate and execute transactions on the ground in close and regular contact with our clients, working hand in hand with our coverage bankers and our expert teams in London and Paris,” added Soundardjee.
SocGen has a growth strategy for the Middle East – part of a five-year development plan launched last year – that will see it allocate further capital and specialised teams to the region in future. As well as Dubai, the bank is also on the ground in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.