Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s PIF buys 24% stake in Jordan’s Capital Bank

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is to acquire a 23.97 per cent stake in Jordan’s Capital Bank Group, which is one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East and North Africa region.

According to a statement released yesterday, the PIF – which is worth an estimated $600 billion – will pay $185 million for a further 63 million shares in the bank.

“The deal aims to increase the group’s capital, thereby raising its total shareholders’ equity to around $846m, and bolstering the group’s ability to execute its strategy and expand its business through introducing new services and products in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other markets where it operates,” the statement said.

The acquisition is in line with the PIF’s strategy to explore new investment opportunities in the region, it added.

The deal is also intended to contribute to the banking group’s aims of strengthening the Jordanian economy. Capital Bank has already acquired assets and branches of Bank Audi in Jordan and Iraq, as well as Societe Generale in the kingdom in less than a year.

Since its establishment in 1995, Capital Bank has grown to become one of the top financial institutions in Jordan. In 2005, the group purchased a majority stake in the National Bank of Iraq.

The PIF’s Chairman Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is reportedly planning to visit Jordan as part of an international tour, where he will discuss regional and international developments and to sign agreements in energy and trade.

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