Sheikh Salem Adul-aziz al-Sabah, governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, said that Al-Rajhi, the biggest Islamic banking group in the world, had submitted an expression of interest in expanding into Kuwait, the first Saudi bank to do so.

Qatar’s Doha Bank also said this week it has received approval from Kuwait’s central bank to begin operations in the country.

Earlier in December Al-Rajhi signed a SR1.7bn ($456m) Islamic financing facility for the development of Jeddah Islamic Port’s third container terminal with Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company.