3 foreign banks seek Saudi license
Saudi Arabia has received requests for 3 new banking licenses. These applications are being processed by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the country’s central bank. Saudi Arabia has 26 banks, including 14 branches of foreign banks such as UAE’s Emirate NBD, Germany’s Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase and BNP Paribas. According to SAMA, Citibank is in advanced discussions for a banking license as it seeks to return after a more than 10-year absence from the country. Switzerland’s Credit Suisse is also seeking a banking license, while Goldman Sachs is also exploring the possibility of gaining a license from the Capital Market Authority to conduct share sales and trading. Meanwhile, SAMA said there is no scope for bank mergers in the country.