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March 10, 2008

Standard Chartered aims to buy 40% of Saudi Hollandi

by Richard Kilner

Story link: Standard Chartered aims to buy 40% of Saudi Hollandi

The 40% stake RBS holds in Saudi Hollandi Bank is being eyed up by Standard Chartered Bank, which is seeking to establish a presence in the oil rich nation, according to Middle East Economic Digest.

The magazine has stated that the bank is contemplating acquiring a share in the Saudi Hollandi Bank as its own efforts to gain a banking licence were unsuccessful.

The stake’s approximate value is $1.53bn, or 5.72bn riyals.

Purchasing the stake would allow the Standard Chartered Bank to establish a presence and brand in Saudi Arabia at a time when the Saudi central bank is unwilling to grant further banking licences.

Last year RBS bought Dutch bank ABN Amro, and thus acquired the stake. However, RBS had indicated in its offer for the Dutch firm that the stake would be sold, prompting Standard’s interest.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest Arabic economy, is beginning to open up its financial services market to competition.

 

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