Dubai: Emirates NBD, the Dubai-based bank, announced that it is expanding its operations into Saudi Arabia.
The bank launched its first branch in Jeddah and said it would soon open another in Khobar and Riyadh. This would make Saudi Arabia the bank’s third-largest branch network outside the UAE and Egypt.
In a statement, the bank said Emirates NBD KSA offers full-fledged services across retail, private, business and wholesale banking. It also offers corporate finance advisory services and project finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.
“Our presence in Saudi Arabia leverages the UAE’s strong economic, financial and commercial ties with the kingdom,” said Hesham Abdullah 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...”
Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC region, and the country’s economic diversification plans are expected to increase capital and trade flows across the region.
Emirates NBD’s expansion into Saudi Arabia comes as banks in the region eye the kingdom amid expectations for capital inflow from international investors into financial markets, as well as local demand for financing for new projects.
In March, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) said it had secured a licence from the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority to establish a commercial banking business in the kingdom. This followed approval FAB received from the Capital Market Authority to establish an investment banking subsidiary.
FAB said at the time that the licences allow the bank to tap into the Gulf’s largest economy and build on the strong potential of that market.
Loai Hassan Abdul Jawad, chief executive officer of Emirates NBD KSA, said on Monday that the increased footprint will enable the bank to have stronger ties with companies and individuals in Saudi Arabia.
Besides Egypt, Emirates NBD operates in India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with representative offices in China and Indonesia.