Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered has hired Sarmad Lone, previously with Morgan Stanley Inc, to help boost the lender’s business with top international companies in the Middle East and north Africa.
Lone has joined the British lender as its regional head for global corporates for Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP), a Standard Chartered spokesman said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
Lone joins the bank from Commercial Bank of Qatar where he was the Doha-based head of wholesale banking. Prior to that Lone was the Middle East, North Africa investment banking head for Morgan Stanley based in Dubai.
Standard Chartered, which makes about four-fifths of its earnings in Asia and the Middle East, is aiming to further “institutionalise” its business in the region by focussing on bigger clients and corporates, a banking source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Middle East and other South Asia markets contributed around 11.7 per cent of Standard Chartered’s $19.07 billion of operating income in 2012, according to the bank’s 2012 annual report. The region includes the bank’s operations in countries such as UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bahrain.
The bank’s regional head said in March it would focus on lending opportunities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar because of the huge infrastructure building plans of oil-rich governments there and would consider acquiring a bank in Egypt to ride an expected boom in one of the Middle East’s largest economies.