Japan’s biggest bank wins Saudi licence

The Saudi Arabian cabinet has granted Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ a licence to open a branch in Saudi Arabia.

The bank, the largest in Japan with total assets of 161 trillion yen ($1.4 trillion), will reportedly be the first Japanese bank to establish a presence in the country.

The news from the Saudi state-run news agency SPA follows the bank’s announcement in September that it would collaborate with Aramco, the state-owned oil company.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the most important countries for Japan from an energy policy perspective with Japan’s oil and gas procurement from Saudi Aramco accounting for over 30% of its total imports for the sector,” said a bank statement at the time.

Aramco pumps roughly 10 million barrels of oil a day, more than a tenth of the world’s supply. The Saudi government is planning an initial public offering of 5% of the company in 2018.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the product of a series of mergers, is part of Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group.

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