Bank of Tokyo-Mit­subishi to open branch in Saudi

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Bank of Tokyo-Mit­subishi UFJ has re­ceived a li­cense to open a branch in Saudi Ara­bia, be­com­ing the first Ja­panese bank to es­tab­lish a pres­ence in the king­dom.

The bank, part of Mit­subishi UFJ Fi­nan­cial Group, has played a cen­tral role in the Saudi gov­ern­ment’s re­cent fi­nanc­ing ac­tiv­ity, in April help­ing to ar­range a $10 bil­lion loan, while Mit­subishi UFJ in Oc­to­ber helped with its $17.5 bil­lion in­ter­na­tional bond sale.

The bank also signed an agree­ment in Septem­ber with Saudi Aramco to as­sist and col­lab­o­rate in the com­pany’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment. The oil gi­ant is tar­get­ing 2018 for what is ex­pected to be the world’s big­gest ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing. Saudi state news agency SPA said the cabi­net li­censed the bank to open a branch in the king­dom and au­tho­rized the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance to de­cide on any sub­se­quent re­quest to open other branches. Saudi Ara­bia and Ja­pan have strong trad­ing ties, with Ja­pan’s oil and gas pro­cure­ment from Saudi Aramco ac­count­ing for more than 30 per­cent of Ja­pan’s to­tal im­ports for the sec­tor, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the bank in Septem­ber.

Bank­ing li­censes in the king­dom are granted rel­a­tively in­fre­quently. Qatar Na­tional Bank was the last for­eign bank to be per­mit­ted to open a branch in Septem­ber 2015. Out of the 13 for­eign banks listed on the cen­tral bank’s web­site as be­ing li­censed to op­er­ate, five are Gulf len­ders - two from Bahrain and one each from Kuwait, the UAE and Oman. Other in­ter­na­tional len­ders in­clude JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas.

Other Asian banks with li­censes in­clude In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China, State Bank of In­dia and Na­tional Bank of Pak­istan. — Reuters

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