BRANCH BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

Indonesian bank to open Saudi branch

Bank Negara Indonesia will open a branch in Saudi Arabia this year.


The capitalization will range from US$20 million to $25 million depending on the strata, according to BNI president director Gatot Suwondo.

The state-owned BNI has not decided yet whether the branch will be fully affiliated with the local bank there or not.

The head of BNI’s international divison, Firman Wibowo added that the new branch in Saudi Arabia has big business potential, such as remittances from Indonesian workers with transaction values totaling as much as $200 million a year, the potential from minor haj and haj pilgrimages, and allocated funds of the Indonesian Embassy.

“The embassy’s fund, which is deposited in foreign banks, reaches $30 million. We could manage the fund. In addition, there are also several Indonesian companies that are operating there,” said Firman.

According to Suwondo, they are currently conducting a feasibility study with the central bank of Saudi Arabia and are being assisted by consultants there.

BNI currently has several representative offices in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern locations, including Qatar, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Dubai, Kuwait and Doha.

Meanwhile, local banks have also formed partnership with BNI, such as National Commercial Bank, Al-araji, Al-bila and Arab National Bank.

“We will focus on transactional banking for the branch in Saudi Arabia,” said Firman.

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