By Sam Bridge
First Abu Dhabi Bank announces opening of a branch in Al Khobar, with Jeddah to follow shortly
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, has expanded its operations in Saudi Arabia with the opening of a branch in Al Khobar.
The new branch joins Riyadh to give FAB an on-ground presence in two regions of Saudi Arabia and cement its role as a key financial services partner to the kingdom, the bank said in a statement.
Abdulhamid Saeed, group CEO of FAB, said: “The opening reflects the bank’s growth ambitions and commitment to evolving its corporate banking footprint and expanding its retail banking services in markets with the highest growth potential.
"We look forward to providing the best banking services to our new customers in the Eastern Province, and support the kingdom’s 2030 Vision, a multi-year plan to diversify its economy.
"FAB is well placed to be a key financial services partner to the kingdom, especially given the strength of the UAE’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the complementary nature of the two countries’ economic development plans.”
In February 2018, the Capital Market Authority provided FAB with the necessary approvals to start investment banking activities in the kingdom as FAB Capital. The bank was also granted a licence from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority in March to establish a commercial banking business in the country.
The licence allows FAB to operate three branches in Saudi Arabia, with Riyadh opening in May 2019, Al Khobar now fully operational, and Jeddah scheduled to follow soon.
Last week, FAB announced that group net profit rose 4 percent to AED9.4 billion ($2.56 billion) in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the year-earlier period.
Third quarter net profit rose by 3 percent to AED3.1 billion, driven by a 5 percent increase in operating income, the bank said, adding that nine-month revenue totalled AED15.2 billion, up 4 percent year-on-year.
Total assets at AED788 billion were up 6 percent year-to-date, while risk weighted assets grew marginally by 1 percent over the same period.