First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), a UAE based lender, has plans to enter into Saudi Arabia’s banking market in this year.
FAB group head of subsidiaries, strategy and transformation Karim Karoui told reporters that the bank has applied for a commercial banking licence in Saudi Arabia.
The initiative comes at a time when other international banking firms including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have also stepped up their presence in the kingdom.
FAB group chief financial officer James Burdett stated that its plan to issue Islamic bonds will depend on market conditions.
In another development, FAB has approved the distribution of 70% of cash dividends for registered and entitled shareholders for the financial year ended on 31 December, 2017.
The decision was taken at its Annual General Assembly Meeting (GAM) at FAB’s head office in Abu Dhabi.
The total cash dividend amounts to AED7.6bn ($2.07bn), which is 11% increase over previous year.
FAB Group CEO Abdulhamid Saeed said: “2017 was a solid first year for FAB, with the bank’s resilient performance reflecting the strategic rationale of the merger, as well as the trust and confidence our shareholders have in us.
“In line with our commitment to maximise shareholder value and deliver top returns, we are very pleased to announce the distribution of 70% cash dividends, totalling AED 7.6 Billion.
“Up by 11% compared to 2016, this is the highest dividend amount distributed by the legacy banks historically.”
FAB was formed through the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank last year.