‘From our position in TIB, we have a good feel for the Algerian market,’ says Haroon. ‘We consider Algeria as an upcoming market and see much potential in the commercial banking sector.’

The new bank – Algeria Gulf Bank (AGB) – will be an in-house joint venture. UGB will own 60 per cent, TIB will hold a 30 per cent stake and the remaining 10 per cent stake will be held by UGB’s affiliate Jordan-Kuwait Bank (JKB). AGB will have an authorised capital of AD 1,600 million ($20 million) and be managed by Amine Baghdadi, joint representative of TIB and JKB in Algeria. Headquarters will be established in Algiers, and further branches will be opened at a later date.

Several other international and regional banks have set up subsidiaries in Algeria in recent years. They include Societe Generale, Citibank and Arab Banking Corporation (MEED 17:3:00, Cover Story).