Phillip Thorpe, chairman of the QFCRA, says a further 20 applications from businesses looking to set up in the centre were under active consideration, which if approved would increase the number of businesses in the centre to more than 100.

Samba applied for the licence as part of its expansion strategy which also involves it bidding for Egypt’s Banque du Caire. Bids from the shortlisted banks, which also include National Bank of Greece, Standard Chartered, Dubai’s Mashreqbank, and a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank and Jordan’s Arab Bank, are expected to be tabled by the end of May (MEED 19:5:08).