Riyadh- Saudi Arabia is considering through Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) requests of three foreign banks showing interest in entering the local market amidst the current economic reforms taking place in the kingdom.
SAMA Governor Dr. Ahmed al-Kholifey said that SAMA is adopting an open policy regarding foreign banks willing to open new branches in Saudi Arabia, stressing that the kingdom has eased the entrance of foreign banks.
In his statement on the sidelines of the inauguration of Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Riyadh on Thursday, Kholifey said that he sees no additional integration operations looming in the horizon of the Saudi banking sector.
He expressed satisfaction with the Saudi banking segment performance – “Saudi banking sector is characterized by strength especially that it is the fifth strongest banking sector in the world according to Fitch Ratings. Nothing worries us concerning this vital segment,” Kholifey added.
SAMA governor considered the entrance of QNB to the local market a significant step to diversify the operating banks in the market and a new supporting element to the sector.
In a related matter, QNB, the Middle East biggest bank by assets, inaugurated its branch in Riyadh in a ceremony attended by: SAMA Governor Dr. Ahmed al-Kholifey, Qatar Central Bank Governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Sheikh Abdullah bin Thamer Al-Thani and QNB Group Chief Executive Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari.
“We seek through our presence in Riyadh to be key partners in supporting the Saudi economic growth through providing banking solutions for individuals, companies and governmental authorities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” Kuwari said.
He also lauded the Saudi government’s support to the banking sector represented in developing procedures and facilitating them for foreign banks.