Citigroup gets capital markets license in Saudi Arabia


Citigroup ca now operate fully in Saudi Arabia as the financial services group has just received its license to operate as a capital markets operator in the country.

The license will allow the group to provide a full bouquet of investment banking and capital markets services, the US bank said on Tuesday.

It is a comeback for Citigroup. The company has left the shore of Saudi since the last 13 years. Investment opportunities are opening as the kingdom diversifies its economy away from oil under its National Transformation Plan.

The government is preparing to list up to 5% of oil giant Saudi Aramco in an initial public share offering that could raise as much as US$100bn.

Citigroup said the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (CMA) granted a licence to Citigroup Saudi Arabia, which will provide a full range of investment banking, debt and equity capital markets, markets, and securities research capabilities to its local and international institutional clients.

“Saudi Arabia is a regional economic leader and a strategically important market for Citi,” Jim Cowles, Citigroup’s CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters News Agency.

Citigroup has been present in the Arab world since 1955 and offers full scale corporate and investment banking services. But it pulled out of Saudi Arabia in 2004 when it sold its 20% stake in Samba Financial Group, saying then it was reallocating capital to core investments.

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