We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 27 Apr 2010 07:18 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Citigroup applying to open Saudi office - Alwaleed

Lender had sold its 20% stake in the Saudi American Bank for $760m in 2004.

Citigroup Inc, the New York based bank that sold its 20 percent stake in a Saudi Arabian lender six years ago, is applying to open an office in the kingdom, shareholder Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, the Saudi billionare, who owned 218 million shares in the bank as of November 2008, said: “Saudi Arabia welcomes the presence of a Citibank office here."

The bank sold its 20 percent stake in the Saudi American Bank, now known as Samba Financial Group, to the state Public Investment Fund for $760 million in 2004, ending a business that started in 1955.

In the 1970s, the Saudi government forced foreign banks such as Citigroup, HSBC Holdings and ABN Amro Holdings to sell majority stakes in their local operations to Saudi nationals. A 2003 capital market law opened the door for foreign banks to apply for licenses.

Citigroup spokesman Karim Seifeddine declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

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.