First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has officially inaugurated its Saudi operations during a ceremony at its new Riyadh branch. The opening is expected to further strengthen commercial ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The ribbon-cutting 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.
The new branch, located in Al-Cayan Tower, Riyadh, joins FAB’s international network that spans five continents.
Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, FAB chairman, said: “It gives me great pleasure to open our first Saudi Arabian branch and make a further contribution toward the Kingdom’s growth story by financing businesses, providing financial services to individuals and investing in the digital economy. 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.”
SAMA governor Alkholifey thanked FAB’s board of directors and the senior leadership for their interest in entering the Saudi market, highlighting it as a positive step toward strengthening competitiveness and providing a more diversified range of products and services in the Saudi banking sector.
Alkholifey said that the opening of the FAB branch coincides with an unprecedented period in the Saudi financial sector, underlining the impact of the Financial Sector Development Program and its continued role in developing a thriving ecosystem, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
“The Kingdom’s financial sector is characterized 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 added.
Layth Al-Shaiban is the country chief executive officer of FAB’s commercial banking operations in Saudi Arabia while Mona Al-Tawil leads the investment banking business in the Kingdom as chief executive officer of FAB Capital.