From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019
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As one of the biggest banking sectors by assets in the MENA region, Saudi Arabia has been something of a sleeping giant in recent years. Economic uncertainty and the effects of low international oil prices have seen both muted lending growth and deposit acquisition, while economic reforms have led to more market uncertainty. The Kingdom’s lenders have, however, remained profitable throughout this period, and are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities arising from an anticipated acceleration of economic growth. In the meantime, an industry that has seen little structural change over recent decades is about to be transformed by new market entrants and mergers of some of its biggest institutions. This chapter contains interviews with Ahmed Alkholifey, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority; and Søren Nikolajsen, Managing Director, Alawwal Bank.