The Saudi Arabian investment banking arm of Bank Muscat, the largest commercial bank in Oman, has appointed Northern Trust to provide custody, fund valuation and accounting services to the Muscat Capital IPO fund.
The Saudi equity fund, which is aimed mainly at investors in Saudi Arabia, aims to buy shares in companies as they undergo initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul. Figures from the company show there were 18 IPOs between 2012 and 2014 with a combined value of $8.7 billion.
Michael Slater, country head Saudi Arabia, Northern Trust, says "sophisticated institutions like Muscat Capital require customised solutions to meet their evolving requirements in this dynamic market, in particular the ability to innovate and offer asset servicing solutions around the Middle East's working week".
The appointment of an independent custodian by Muscat Capital marks a trend for asset managers in Saudi Arabia to move closer to international standards of third-party custody. In the past, many asset managers in the kingdom carried out custody and other functions, such as fund administration, in-house.
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