HSBC Middle East appoints new chairman

Leadership changes come as the lender looks to boost growth in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region

HSBC had assets worth $71 billion across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region at the end of December.  Reuters
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HSBC Middle East has appointed Abdulfattah Sharaf as its new chairman while Mohamed Al Marzooqi will succeed him as the bank's UAE chief executive, as the lender seeks to expand its presence in the region.

Europe’s largest lender is looking to boost growth in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (Menat) region as economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Sharaf takes on the new role after serving as the chief executive of HSBC UAE for 13 years. He has combined the role with oversight of the bank’s operations in Algeria, Bahrain and Kuwait as head of international since 2017, the bank said in a statement.

Mr Sharaf was also a board member of HSBC Middle East from 2010 to 2019 and has held board roles with HSBC Saudi Arabia and Etisalat.

He succeeds Samir Assaf, who will remain a non-executive director of the board as well as the non-executive chairman of the board of HSBC Middle East Holdings, the holding company of HSBC Middle East, the statement added.

Mr Al Marzooqi, who joined HSBC in 2002, has worked in retail, commercial, corporate and investment banking. He was most recently the head of global banking in the UAE.

The new appointments will be effective from May 1.

“These appointments reflect the strength and depth of HSBC’s executive team in the UAE and the deep experience that both Abdulfattah and Mohamed have in supporting clients to expand internationally,” said Mr Assaf.

“They build on the role HSBC has played in supporting growth and development since we became the first bank to open for business in the UAE almost 80 years ago.”

HSBC is the largest international bank in the Menat region with a presence in nine countries; Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.

The bank had assets worth $71 billion across the Menat region as of December 31.

In Saudi Arabia, HSBC has a 31 per cent stake in Saudi Awwal Bank and a 51 per cent stake in HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the kingdom.

Last year, the bank expanded its private banking business in the UAE to cater to the growing number of high-net-worth investors.

In March, the bank introduced a Swift payment service to reduce transfer delays for UAE-based customers through the use of real-time account verification.

The validation service uses “cutting-edge technology” to reduce the risk of payment delays caused by inaccurate beneficiary information, HSBC said at the time.

Updated: April 27, 2023, 12:16 PM