Emi­rates NBD ex­pands in Saudi Ara­bia

The National - News - - BUSINESS - SARMAD KHAN

Dubai’s Emi­rates NBD an­nounced yes­ter­day the ex­pan­sion of it op­er­a­tions in Saudi Ara­bia, so­lid­i­fy­ing its foothold in the mar­ket as Opec’s big­gest oil ex­porter con­tin­ues to trans­form its econ­omy.

Emi­rates NBD, the big­gest bank in Dubai by as­sets, said it has ex­panded its foot­print with the re­cent open­ing of its branch in Saudi Ara­bia’s com­mer­cial hub, Jed­dah. The lender plans to “soon” open a branch in Kho­bar and a sec­ond branch in the king­dom’s cap­i­tal Riyadh, it said in a state­ment. Saudi Ara­bia now hosts Emi­rates NBD’s big­gest branch net­work out­side of the UAE and Egypt, it said.

“Our pres­ence in Saudi Ara­bia lever­ages the UAE’s strong eco­nomic, fi­nan­cial and com­mer­cial ties with the king­dom,” said He­sham Al Qassim, vice chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Emi­rates NBD. “As Saudi rolls out its trans­for­ma­tive Vision 2030 plan, we are de­lighted to deepen our re­la­tion­ship and con­tinue to sup­port Saudi in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses look­ing for a trusted bank­ing part­ner.”

Fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are keen to es­tab­lish a pres­ence in Saudi Ara­bia, the big­gest Ara­bian Gulf econ­omy, as it con­tin­ues to di­ver­sify away from oil. Its eco­nomic agenda in­cludes de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal non-oil in­dus­tries and sale of some state as­sets, in­clud­ing Saudi Aramco, the world’s big­gest oil pro­ducer, in a public float. Deals such as these and a boom­ing pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try of­fer growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lenders.

US-based Citi also an­nounced yes­ter­day the for­mal open­ing of its new of­fices in Riyadh, in a cer­e­mony at­tended by Ibrahim Al Omar, Gov­er­nor of the Saudi Ara­bian Gen­eral In­vest­ment Author­ity, and top Citi of­fi­cials in­clud­ing its chief ex­ec­u­tive, Michael Cor­bat.

“The ex­pan­sion to Saudi is in line with our strat­egy to be present in the re­gion’s big­gest econ­omy and con­trib­ute to its trans­for­ma­tion,” said Mr Cor­bat. “Citi con­tin­ues to sup­port the king­dom’s na­tional agenda for a di­verse and sus­tain­able econ­omy and we aim to play a key role to­wards re­al­is­ing this vision.”

Our pres­ence in Saudi Ara­bia lever­ages the UAE’s strong eco­nomic, fi­nan­cial and com­mer­cial ties with the king­dom HE­SHAM AL QASSIM Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Emi­rates NBD

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