Standard Chartered has received a licence to launch banking operations in Saudi Arabia, one of the global bank’s strongest markets.
The 150-year-old lender has been operating in the kingdom through Standard Chartered Capital Saudi Arabia since 2009.
It began talks with Saudi regulators to obtain a banking licence in the kingdom in 2017.
“After viewing what had been presented by His Excellency the Minister of Finance, the Cabinet has decided to approve the licence for Standard Chartered Bank allowing it to open a branch in the Kingdom,” said a statement by the Saudi Press Agency.
“The decision also delegates the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent request to open other branches of the bank in the Kingdom.”
Central bank chief Ahmed al-Kholifey told state TV on Tuesday the bank will also help provide “modern banking technology, create more jobs and meet the increasing financing needs in the sector, especially in light of the ambitious plans of Vision 2030.”
“The move reflects that the kingdom is open to improve its financial sector and is ready to accept more foreign banks units,” he added.
During its global results presentation on Tuesday, Standard Chartered said its Saudi Arabia operations performed well despite slowing oil output in the GCC region.
The lender’s head office in the region is located in Dubai, which is also the centre for its Islamic Banking arm, Standard Chartered Saadiq.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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