Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD has opened its first branch in the city of Khobar in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia as it expands across the kingdom.
The bank now has branches in three Saudi cities including Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar.
It offers retail, private, business and wholesale banking in all its branches along with corporate finance advisory, project and syndicated finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.
Emirates NBD is the first non-Saudi bank with a “significant branch network” across the kingdom, a statement said.
The lender also recently renewed its partnership with the kingdom’s Kafalah programme which aims to promote financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the country.
“Our presence in Saudi is integral to Emirates NBD’s growth strategy as we continue to explore opportunities in the GCC region’s largest and most dynamic economy,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice-chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD.
The bank also said it is looking to benefit from the growing economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Following the establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, the two countries recently announced a joint strategy for economic development through 44 joint projects within a five-year timeframe.
“Saudi is in the midst of a landmark economic transformation and we look forward to continuing to support Saudi individuals and businesses,” said Al Qassim.
Emirates NBD, which operates 227 branches and 1,065 ATMs and SDMs in the UAE and overseas, has a presence in Egypt, India, Singapore, and the UK with representative offices in China and Indonesia.
The bank has been seeing strong growth this year and reported a 29 per cent rise in net profit during the first half of the year to reach Dhs5bn.
“For the first time in the group’s history, Emirates NBD delivered a half yearly net profit in excess of Dhs5bn underpinned by higher net interest income on the back of loan growth and improving margins and a lower cost of risk,” Shayne Nelson, group CEO of Emirates NBD, said at the time.