Citi launches technology hub in Bahrain to develop digital platforms

By Yousef Saba

DUBAI (Reuters) – Citi on Monday launched a global technology hub at its Bahrain offices, the first of its kind in the region and with the aim of employing 1,000 coders over the next decade.

The hub, based at Citi’s premises in Bahrain, was set up in partnership with Tamkeen, a government-funded labor fund, and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), which are also investing, said a Citi executive.

As part of this plan, Citi will hire at least 100 people in coding-related roles each year for the next 10 years.

The new hires will initially work on two of the bank’s main platforms, Citi Velocity and Citi FX Pulse, said Ala’a Saeed, global head of electronic platforms and distribution for Citi FX.

“The selection of our two flagship systems to be developed here in Bahrain is a huge endorsement of the talent and caliber of the people we have found here,” he said.

Tamkeen will subsidize part of the salaries and cover training costs locally and abroad, Tamkeen chief executive Hussain Mohammed Rajab said without disclosing any figures.

Bahrain, where Citi has operated for 50 years, has sought to market itself as a financial technology hub for the Middle East and North Africa in an effort to rekindle its reputation as a regional banking and trading center.

The heavily indebted state, which lacks the oil or gas resources of its Gulf neighbors, received a $ 10 billion bailout in 2018 from some of its Gulf allies to avoid a credit crunch.

(This story corrects the name of the Citi platform in paragraph 4)

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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