Jordan licenses National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Amman, August 4, 2009
The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) has granted a foreign bank licence to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to undertake commercial banking services in the country, officials said on Tuesday.
The UAE's biggest bank by market value was granted approval by the CBJ board to set up a subsidiary with a minimum capital of 50 million dinar ($71 million) as stipulated by the country's banking regulations, a central bank source told Reuters.
The bank will become the ninth foreign bank licensed to operate in an overcrowded banking sector where 15 local banks already exist. Liberalised laws allow foreign banks to engage in the same retail and wholesale banking services as Jordanian banks.
Among the foreign banks that already operate in Jordan are HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Iraq's Rafidain Bank, the National Bank of Kuwait, and Lebanon's Bank Audi and Blom.
Arab investors already hold sizeable stakes in several leading local banks, including Arab Bank and Housing Bank, the two largest lenders.
The last foreign entrant in Jordan was Dubai Islamic Bank, which started operations last month after buying a majority stake in Industrial Development Bank of Jordan.-Reuters