Citi gets Saudi capital markets licence

The Saudi Arabian regulator has granted Citigroup a licence to conduct investment banking and capital markets activities in the country.

Citi had been constrained by lacking a licence after selling its shareholding in Samba Financial Holding, a Saudi banking group, in 2004.

“We are very proud of our long association with Saudi Arabia and are delighted at the opportunity to establish a presence in the kingdom,” said Jim Cowles, chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Saudi Arabia has embarked on a profound economic transformation journey and we are excited and committed to contributing to this endeavour.”

Along with other global banks, Citi is keen to deepen its ties to Saudi Arabia as the country begins an ambitious privatisation programme, which includes the planned listing of state-owned oil company Aramco.

Citi recently acted as lead adviser to an international bond issue from Saudi Arabia last year, which raised a record $17.5 billion.

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