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(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG is planning to hire more relationship managers in Saudi Arabia, joining rivals including Deutsche Bank AG in designating the country as a priority for their wealth management businesses.

The recruitment drive comes after the Zurich-based bank established a platform allowing it to offer private banking services and products in the country, according to an emailed statement from the company.

“Credit Suisse is further expanding and investing in its business in Saudi Arabia, a key growth market and of great importance to international wealth management,” Bruno Daher, head of that business in the Middle East, said in the statement. “We consider the onshore private banking presence as a natural progression to further build our local footprint.’’

The Swiss lender is among global banks seeking to profit from an expected surge in private wealth in the kingdom, where the government has pledged to enlist the private sector in its plan to diversify the economy away from oil. Deutsche Bank is preparing to “massively expand” its product offering and hire relationship managers in the kingdom, Peter Hinder, head of EMEA Wealth Management, said in an interview this month.

Credit Suisse is still seeking a banking license for Saudi Arabia that would allow it to open branches in the kingdom. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA already have such licenses while HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Credit Agricole SA operate in the country through minority stakes in local lenders.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jan-Henrik Förster in Zurich at jforster20@bloomberg.net, Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.net, Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Cindy Roberts, Christian Baumgaertel

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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