Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has unveiled plans to open a branch in Riyadh after being awarded a banking licence by Saudi Arabian authorities. 

The lender says it plans to provide a range of services, including financing and working capital solutions, to corporate and institutional clients. 

Having obtained approval from the Saudi Council of Ministers, ADCB will now fulfil technical and regulatory requirements set out by the kingdom’s central bank before commencing operations. 

Group chief executive officer Ala’a Eraiqat says the move is a “proud milestone” for ADCB. 

“The bank’s decision to establish a presence in the kingdom aligns with the accelerated expansion of our business,” he says. 

“Harnessing the strength of our relationships across the region, we are dedicated to being a positive force for corporate growth and a trusted facilitator for trade and investment flows.” 

Ludovic Nobili, ADCB’s global head of corporate and investment banking, adds: “A central element of our strategy is to support clients along economic corridors across regional markets. The new branch in Saudi Arabia will add an important dimension to our client offering.” 

The move makes ADCB the 23rd foreign bank to gain a licence in Saudi Arabia, though six have not yet started operations, according to central bank records. It is only the third UAE-based entity to gain approval, after Emirates NBD and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). 

Foreign banks have become increasingly involved in providing working capital facilities in Saudi Arabia, with FAB launching its first supply chain finance programme in the country in May last year. 

In a GTR roundtable last year, one ADCB representative noted that some aspects of supply chain finance remain underdeveloped in the region and called for existing offerings to be broadened.