High hopes for Saudi licence at Ziraat

Turkey's Ziraat Bank plans to open its first branch this year in Saudi Arabia, which it sees as the most lucrative addition to its current 17 foreign markets, the local manager said on Wednesday.Ziraat, Turkey's largest bank, pegs the success of its Saudi operation on a 130,000-strong Turkish community and large numbers of Turkish pilgrims visiting the kingdom and Saudi tourists in Turkey.

"I think Saudi Arabia will be the first (potentially) among foreign markets because we have a huge amount of citizens and we have good trade relationships," Ismail Eroglu, who manages the bank's Saudi operation, told Reuters in an interview.

"We also have a huge amount of people who come here for haj and umra, which may be between 200,000 and 300,000 every year," he said.

Eroglu was speaking during a meeting between Saudi and Turkish businessmen on the sidelines of an official visit by Turkey's President Abdullah Gul to the kingdom.

Bilateral ties have improved since Gul's AK Party and King Abdullah came to power in 2002 and 2005 respectively. Bilateral trade has more than doubled between 2006 and 2008.

The state-controlled Ziraat obtained a full banking licence last year from the Saudi central bank.

The bank plans to start with a branch in Jeddah, home to half of the local Turkish community, he said, adding up to seven other branches may follow. It will provide retail banking services before adding corporate banking.

"We will expand the branch network in other Gulf countries. It's not certain where," Eroglu said. (Reuters)

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Babar Mahmood

Ziraat bank is entering newly in the Saudi Market.Here is boom in the banking industry and best place of banking business.Inshallah with in very short time it will be successfull then others with the blessings of god almighty. Regards Babar

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Are the troubles easing for Saudi construction giant Binladin?

Are the troubles easing for Saudi construction giant Binladin?

Gulf kingdom's biggest builder appears to have pulled back from...

Statistics fog raises risk as cheap oil hits Gulf

Statistics fog raises risk as cheap oil hits Gulf

Sharp revision of economic data in Saudi Arabia suggests its...

Why banking in the Gulf will never be the same again

Why banking in the Gulf will never be the same again

New technologies are emerging in banking and finance at a rapid...

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking