Qatar First Investment Bank, founded in 2008 with $1 billion of capital, plans to open an office in Saudi Arabia by the end of this year as it seeks to tap opportunities in the Arab world’s largest economy.
In an interview in Riyadh, Emad Mansour, deputy chief executive officer of the Doha based bank said: “We think there are a lot of good deals to be had in the Saudi market."
He added: “Any serious player in the region needs a Saudi angle, whether for investing in Saudi or raising funds from Saudis.”
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil supplier, is attracting international investors seeking business opportunities as the economy expands with higher oil prices. Carlyle Group and Deutsche Bank AG have announced Saudi investments this year.
QFIB, a Shariah compliant investment bank, will focus on deals in Saudi energy, financial services, healthcare, industry and real estate, Mansour said.
The bank will seek regulatory approval from the Capital Market Authority to provide advisory and management services in the kingdom.1
Carlyle Group, the world’s second largest private equity firm, said last month it bought a 30 percent stake in Saudi Arabia’s General Lighting Co.
Deutsche Bank AG formed this month a $110 million Shariah compliant mortgage venture in the kingdom with a group of Saudi based investors led by Fahad Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Rajhi.
Mansour said: “Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy in the region."
He added: “There is a lot of private wealth in Saudi Arabia, but it is not always flaunted. But for good deals, it comes out.”
QFIB acquired a 41 percent stake in Qatar Engineering and Construction Co and 71 percent of Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries in 2009.
It is also targeting investments in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, Mansour said in an interview on Jan 5.
Mansour said: “We are looking at very good healthy deal flow these days."
He added that this year “should be slightly better than 2009.”