BEIRUT

Regional

StanChart seeks nod for Saudi licence - sources

A woman walks down the stairs of the Standard Chartered headquarters in Hong Kong in this October 13, 2010 file photo.(STANCHART-LENDING/ REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files)

DUBAI: Standard Chartered has sought a full commercial banking licence from the Saudi central bank as the UK lender aims to plug the biggest gap in its growing Gulf Arab business, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

With multi-billion dollar spending plans to beef up infrastructure, housing and education, Saudi Arabia tops the list of global institutions seeking to tap growth in the oil-rich Gulf Arab region.

The kingdom is also on the verge of opening up its stock markets to foreign direct investors.

StanChart received a capital markets licence in the kingdom last year and has set up a team on the ground, but a full banking licence would enable the bank to offer a variety of services to the growing Saudi population.

The bank applied for a licence from the central bank more than a year ago but has yet to hear back, one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public yet.

A spokesman for the lender in Dubai declined to comment.

The London-headquartered bank, which makes more than three-quarters of its profit in Asia, posted its ninth consecutive year of record earnings in 2011 on the back of buoyant growth in Hong Kong and Singapore, although rising competition for staff pushed up its wage bill.

The Saudi banking sector is expected to post higher revenue in 2012, fuelled by higher loan growth and fee income and falling provisions for bad loans, NCB Capital said in a report in December.

StanChart was reportedly considering bids for Royal Bank of Scotland's 40-percent stake in Saudi Hollandi Bank in 2008.

Foreign banks conducting commercial banking in the kingdom are required to partner with local institutions. HSBC conducts business there mainly through its affiliate Saudi British Bank, while France's Credit Agricole partly owns Banque Saudi Fransi

StanChart's private equity arm bought a minority stake in a Saudi Binladin Group unit for $75 million last year.

 

Recommended

Related Articles

Entities

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here