(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel said, Wednesday, that the bank gave its initial green light for the establishment of a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in the country during the board's meeting yesterday.
The governor told KUNA this is the fourth approval for a foreign bank to open a branch here since issue of the concerned law. Earlier approvals had been issued for BNP Paribas, HSBC, and Citibank.
There had also been approvals on licenses for seven national Gulf banks to open branches in Kuwait; National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Qatar National Bank, Doha Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank, Bank Muscat, and Mashreq Bank, along with a bank currently under construction.
Al-Hashel remarked that the ICBC is in fifth slot of the Forbes Global 2000 list, which includes the world's top shareholding companies. ICBC assets stood at KD 679 billion by end of December 2011, while shareholder equity came to KD 42 billion.
With the bank's great financial standing, its debut would heighten competition in the Kuwaiti market and help along the realization of His Highness the Amir's view of making the state a regional commercial and monetary center.
In terms of procedures, the next step is putting the matter before the cabinet for its approval, virtue of law 32 issued in 1968 and its amendments.