Emaar Financial plans Saudi unit
Riyadh, August 4, 2008
Emaar Financial Services, whose shareholders include developer Emaar Properties, plans to start a financial services firm in Saudi Arabia as part of a regional expansion plan.
Emaar Saudi Financial Services would have capital of 100 million dirhams ($27.23 million) and start operations after getting final approval from Saudi authorities, Jamal Yassin, head of Emaar Financial's head of international business development, said.
A number of Gulf Arab financial services firms, including Dubai investment bank Shuaa Capital, are setting up units in the world's largest oil exporter to take advantage of an economic boom triggered by a more than six-fold rise in oil prices since 2002.
Saudi Arabia is the most-populous Gulf Arab state and the kingdom's bourse is the largest is in the Arab world.
Emaar Financial's Saudi unit won initial approval last year, and would provide advisory services ranging from asset management to brokerage, Yassin said on the sidelines of a conference. Amlak Finance also owns a stake in Emaar Financial.
The firm is also looking to set up in Egypt and Qatar, but has yet to apply for licences, Yassin said.
Emaar Properties, the largest Arab developer by market value, owns a stake in Emaar Economic City, which is developing the giant King Abdullah Economic City project on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast. - Reuters