Franklin Templeton Makes Saudi Push

Global investment management firm Franklin Templeton has officially opened its doors in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant step in its Middle Eastern expansion strategy. The move comes after the company secured crucial licenses from the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) – "Managing Investments and Operating Funds" and "Advising."

Franklin Templeton, boasting a hefty $1.6 trillion in assets under management, has already established itself as a major player in the region for nearly 25 years. Previously, it catered to prominent clients like sovereign wealth funds, central banks, family offices, and global private banks. The launch of its Saudi Arabian office, however, signifies a shift towards directly serving individual investors within the kingdom.

This strategic decision aligns with Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the nation's economy and attract foreign investment. The kingdom has implemented attractive incentives, such as a 30-year corporate income tax exemption for foreign companies establishing their regional headquarters in Riyadh. This policy has proven successful, with over 200 international firms applying to set up base in the Saudi capital by the end of 2023.

Franklin Templeton's arrival in Saudi Arabia is mutually beneficial. The company gains access to a rapidly growing and dynamic market, while Saudi Arabian investors receive a chance to tap into Franklin Templeton's extensive global investment expertise. Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton, expressed her enthusiasm about the expansion. "The Middle East is a key region for Franklin Templeton," she stated. "We are delighted that Saudi Arabian investors now have local access to the firm's global strength through our robust global platform and public and private market offerings."

Analysts believe Franklin Templeton's presence will not only provide Saudi investors with a wider range of investment options but also contribute to the overall development of the kingdom's financial sector. The company's proven track record and diverse investment solutions are expected to be well-received by local investors seeking to navigate the complexities of the global financial landscape.

Furthermore, Franklin Templeton's commitment to the region extends beyond its new office. The company has been actively involved in Saudi Arabia for some time, having launched the Franklin FTSE Saudi ETF on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. This exchange-traded fund offers investors targeted exposure to large and mid-sized companies within the Saudi market.

The expansion into Saudi Arabia underscores Franklin Templeton's long-term commitment to the Middle East. The company's presence is likely to have a ripple effect, potentially attracting other global investment firms to the region and further propelling Saudi Arabia's financial ambitions.

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