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MENAFN - Arab News - 05/03/2013

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(MENAFN - Arab News) An international expert on Shariah-compliant capital markets and treasury has called on Saudi businesswomen to invest funds that are kept frozen in banks.

According to the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) data, assets of Saudi women in the banks have been estimated at SR 375 billion whereas their volume of spending stands at SR 75 billion yearly.

Azeemeh Zaheer, vice president at the London-based Gatehouse Bank, who is visiting the Kingdom to train 15 female students working on their master degrees at Dar Al-Hekma College, said the Arab women are not only players in economy and development but have become a big financial force, notably after asset buildup in Arab counties in general, and the GCC countries in particular.

With the accumulation of wealth, globalization and openness, women have begun to invest their funds and try to overcome all traditional barriers which limit their (financial) independence, Zaheer was quoted by local media as saying.

Referring to the mission of the Gatehouse Bank, she said the bank is running assets exceeding 782 million sterling pounds and specializes in offering Shariah-compliant wholesale investment banking services in the areas of capital markets and syndicated financing and treasury.

She stressed on the importance of the existence of a bank working according to Sharia rules and teachings and helping women invest funds in Britain.

She said women in GCC countries retain more than 300 billion and if 15 percent of that money, or 45 billion, invested in London, it would be a big success for them as a bank.

Dean of Dar Al-Hekma Girls College Dr. Suhair Al-Qurashi said Saudi women have become intensively involved in a number of business activities.
Based on the latest data, the number of businesses registered for Saudi women stood at nearly 36,200, which represents 4.7 percent of total registered businesses in the Kingdom, she said.

The volume of women investments in businesses has so far reached SR 3 billion, which represents 4.3 percent of the total number of private sector companies in the Kingdom, she pointed out.


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