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Cranes of change in Saudi Arabia

Oil and gas analyst Eva Sudol shares insight from a research trip to Riyadh.

Eva Sudol (left) with her colleagues in Riyadh.

Covered in a long black cloak called an abaya, investment analyst Eva Sudol visited a corporate office on a recent trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During the office visit she saw a work area designated for women — a notable observation because women in the workplace were uncommon in Saudi Arabia only a few years back. Eva saw it as one of many important changes. “Spending on education, employment, housing and infrastructure has grown exponentially in the past year,” Eva noted. “Riyadh is filled with cranes, as if they’ve all moved there from Dubai.” Everywhere she looked, Eva saw signs of development.

Eva, an oil and gas analyst, was accompanied by two portfolio managers and a bank analyst. Each brought a unique perspective to meetings with government officials, academics and executives.

Eva believes that research trips strengthen our understanding of the geopolitical and economic landscape. “This investing business is a giant puzzle — you have to put the geopolitical and financial pieces together. You can’t do it by yourself. It’s best to conduct on-site research with others who have a different knowledge base,” notes Eva.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.