Goldman Sachs enters Saudi Arabia

5 February 2007

Goldman Sachs has entered into the Saudi Arabian banking industry through a deal with National Commercial Bank - the country's largest lender.

The US investment bank will acquire a stake in the investment banking subsidiary of NCB - Saudi Arabia's state-owned lender - Al Ahli Financial Company.

In a statement, NCB said that the acquisition of the stake would also see Goldman Sachs have a part to play in running operations at the subsidiary.

"Goldman Sachs and Al Ahli Financial Company intend to cooperate on a number of areas of activity inside the kingdom and also on areas of activity linked to the kingdom abroad," the statement said.

"The memorandum of understanding also provides for the participation of Goldman Sachs in the capital of Al Ahli Financial Company."

It is expected that Goldman will take up to 40 per cent of Al Ahli, with NCB likely to retain the majority stake.

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