Middle East Attracting Banks

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Investment banks, retail banks and other financial companies are moving toward more activity in the Middle East. They're seeking staff who can help them get a share of the billions of dollars of oil money that are pumping up the region's economies and developing a sophisticated customer base.

All of this comes despite fighting in Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, continued violence in Iraq and other uncertainties. BusinessWeek says investment bankers see serious opportunities, as do private equity funds, asset managers, lenders and hedging specialists.

Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, HSBC and Morgan Stanley are all working in the area.

"There is a scramble going on for bankers with experience in the Gulf, although the traditional regional banker, who was good at schmoozing with Arab customers in hotel lobbies, is no longer such a hot commodity," reports the magazine. "Customers have grown more sophisticated and want bankers who know what they're talking about."

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