Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) officially opened a new branch in Riyadh on 19 September. The branch will offer commercial and investment banking services. The soft launch of GIB’s corporate banking activities in the kingdom took place in the third quarter and investment banking operations in the second quarter.

The Riyadh branch is the third in GIB’s network complementing its New York and London branches as well as its representative offices in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Beirut. The opening of the new branch follows GIB’s merger with Saudi International Bank now renamed Gulf International Bank (UK). The establishment of the Riyadh branch is part of GIB’s strategy to achieve greater market penetration in the GCC. The branch will be headed by Ammar Alkhudairy, previously head of merchant banking at Al-Bank Al-Saudi Al-Fransi.

GIB reported strong first-half 2000 results with profits of $64.7 million, up 25.4 per cent on those for January-June 1999.