Saudi Arabia's Best Bank for Asia 2019
Saudi British Bank’s presence in Asia grows in strength and depth each year, and for good reason. China is the biggest market for Saudi-made goods and services, and the Kingdom’s single largest source of imports.
The same is true across the region, with oil and gas flowing east while Japanese, Korean and Singaporean construction companies and consumer goods firms are investing heavily in a fast-growing economy with ambitions to diversify and develop a slew of sectors, from tourism and education to public infrastructure and health.
Under the guidance of managing director David Dew, SABB is in pole position to benefit from the rise of China and the increasing global economic predominance of Asia’s largest markets – and it is determined not to miss out.
It set up its first dedicated China desk in 2010, long before the emergence of the Belt and Road Initiative, later adding a Korean desk for good measure.
The bank, which reported a 14.5% year-on-year rise in net profit in the third quarter of 2018, provides payroll services to more than 20,000 Chinese expatriates working in Saudi Arabia.
In the full year 2018, it extended $10.6 billion in credit facilities to mainland corporates operating in the Kingdom. SABB delivers world-class financial services – ranging from cash management and trade finance to business credit cards and bank guarantees – to many of Asia’s largest firms, including Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and China’s Sinopec Engineering.
And SABB has also recognized the importance of China’s renminbi as an increasingly significant trade currency in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. The bank held four seminars on renminbi internationalization in 2018, hosting more than 120 Chinese companies working in the Kingdom. It has also conducted roadshows in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore to promote its renminbi services, which include solutions for trade settlement and cash management.