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First Abu Dhabi Bank launches Saudi operations

ABU DHABI, May 10, 2019

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), one of the world's largest financial institutions based in the UAE capital, has officially launched its operations in Saudi Arabia.

The new branch, located in Al Cayan Tower, Riyadh, joins FAB’s international network which spans five continents, enabling customers in Saudi Arabia to draw on the bank’s global relationships, expertise and financial strength to grow stronger, said the bank in a statement.

The opening is a key milestone in FAB’s international expansion plans that will help to further strengthen commercial ties between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, it added.

The opening ceremony was attended by Dr Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the board executive committee of FAB, Jassim Mohammed Al Siddiqi, chairman of the board audit committee of FAB, Dr Fahad Ibrahim Alshatri, deputy governor for censorship at SAMA and Abdulhamid Saeed, group chief executive officer of FAB, along with other members of the bank’s senior leadership.

Chairman Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: "Our expansion into Saudi Arabia represents an important milestone in our international business strategy as well as a testament to the strong ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia."

"The kingdom is of strategic importance to both FAB and the UAE, and it is for that reason we chose Saudi Arabia as the first destination in our international expansion plans since our merger. We look forward to growing our presence in the Kingdom and thank the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Capital Market Authority for their invaluable guidance and support throughout this auspicious journey," he added.

Lauding FAB’s board of directors and the senior leadership for their interest in Saudi market, Alkholifey said it was a positive step towards strengthening competitiveness and providing a more diversified range of products and services in the Saudi banking sector to meet the aspirations and needs of customers.

The Sama governor pointed out that the launch coincides with an unprecedented period in the Saudi financial sector, emphasising the impact of the financial sector development programme and its continued role in developing a thriving ecosystem, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

"While Saudi’s financial sector is characterised by a high degree of financial solvency, operational efficiency and high liquidity, it nonetheless requires the continued support and growth of varied credit facilities from banks to sustain this momentum, whether for the corporate sector, individuals or mortgage finance," he stated.

Following the official approval from the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) in February last year to start investment banking activities in Saudi Arabia as FAB Capital, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered bank was granted a licence from Sama one month later to establish a commercial banking business in the country, said the statement.

The licence allows FAB to operate three branches in Saudi Arabia, with the Riyadh opening planned to be followed by Jeddah and Al Khobar later this year, it added.-TradeArabia News Service




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