• Qatar National Bank to open branch in Saudi Arabia
  • Only 12 other foreign majority-owned banks are licensed to operate in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet has approved a licence for Qatar National Bank (QNB) to open a branch in the kingdom, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Only 12 other foreign majority-owned banks are licensed to operate in Saudi Arabia. The 12 domestic banks are highly competitive.

The last licence was granted in 2012 to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The decision comes less than a week after Qatar Central Bank announced it would grant licences to GCC banks to operate in Qatar, according to Reuters. Currently, only Dubai’s Mashreq bank operates in the country.

QNB already has branches in 24 countries including the UAE, Egypt and Kuwait. It is Qatar’s largest bank, with a market share of about 45 per cent and $140bn of assets.

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