DUBAI- KPMG said on Tuesday it will convert its Saudi Arabian unit from a professional partnership to a closed joint stock company, enabling the audit and advisory firm to expand across the kingdom and in the regional market.
The move, approved by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce, is also aimed at creating job opportunities for Saudi citizens and allowing a new stream of shareholding from investors, who could be from professions outside the service sector.
Saudi Arabia has launched sweeping economic and social reforms to make the kingdom an easier place to live and work and cut the red tape that had long deterred international investment.
At the same time, a Saudi ultimatum in mid-February has prompted some to rethink their strategy: from 2024, companies seeking state contracts in the Middle East's biggest economy must have offices in the kingdom.
"We are delighted to be the first professional services company in the Kingdom to transform from a partnership into a joint stock company," Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Fozan, chairman of KPMG Professional Services said, in a statement.
"For us, the decision to transition is in line with our strategy for expansion in the kingdom and allowing the entry of new partners and shareholders."
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; editing by Barbara Lewis) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))