On June 3 local time, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited Riyadh Branch officially announced establishment in Riyadh, the capital city of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which makes ICBC the first Chinese bank in the country. Meanwhile, Riyadh Branch is also ICBC’s fifth branch in Middle East after Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Kuwait.
Mr. Gu Shu, Vice President of ICBC, said at the establishment ceremony of the Branch that people of Saudi Arabia and China enjoy a friendship that dates back a long time, have frequent economic and trade exchange and share broad space for cooperation. The two countries share wide cooperation opportunities in railway building, energy cooperation, cultural exchange, construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and preparation for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The increasingly tighter economic and trade ties and people exchange lay the foundation for the bilateral financial cooperation and raise new demand for cross-border bank services. After Riyadh Branch is founded, it will strive to serve as the bridge and bond for economic and trade exchange between the two countries and regions and become an excellent bank trusted by local people, applauded by customers and reputed in the society.
Saudi Arabia is China’s largest trade partner in the Arabic area, an important investment destination and a major project contracting market. Over the years, the two countries made considerable progress in economic and trade cooperation, harvesting rapid growth in bilateral trade and noticeable achievements in energy cooperation. The two countries also made positive progress in technology, health, new energy and human resource development.
ICBC is China’s largest commercial bank, which tops the global peers in multiple indicators including deposits, loans, total assets, tier 1 capital, operating income, and brand value. In recent years, ICBC proactively adapted to customers’ demand for diversified financial services and improved its overseas layout by closely following China’s process of foreign trade and investment, noticeably improving its global serviceability. Up to now, its overseas network had covered 42 countries and regions across the world and had 397 subsidiaries, making ICBC a Chinese financial institution with the widest global network coverage. By holding shares of the Standard Bank of South Africa, ICBC indirectly reached out to 20 African countries, forming a global service network covering Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, America and Australia.
As an important supplement to its global network, the number of its foreign correspondent banks exceeded 1,800, covering over 95% of the countries and regions with investment and trade ties with China. Among them, ICBC pays great attention to business expansion in the Middle East. It is the first Chinese bank to set up business institutions in the area and also the Chinese bank with the largest number of institutions and the biggest business size in the Middle East so far.