News 2010 April 2010 Back Samba is the First Saudi Bank to Operate in Qatar Samba Financial Group has opened its first branch in the Qatari capital Doha, becoming the first Saudi bank to establish a presence in the State of Qatar. Samba has obtained all the necessary licenses to open its office in the Tornado Tower in West Bay, the most prestigious Business District in Doha. Samba has been licensed as a Category (1) financial institution and is accordingly permitted and authorised to conduct the following banking activities within the Qatar Finance Centre (QFC): deposit taking; dealing in investments; arranging deals in investments; providing credit facilities; arranging credit facilities; arranging the provision of custody services; managing investments and advising on investments with an Islamic window. Following the QFC licensing, Samba has established a new financial and investment arm into one of the most developing markets in the region, Qatar. This move marks a fresh sign of the regional presence of Saudi banks. To mark the occasion, Mr. Eisa M. Al-Eisa, Chairman of Samba Financial Group said, "The timing of the opening of Samba in Qatar underlines the success of the Bank's regional expansion strategy. The opening also demonstrates the financial strength of Samba and reflects the prudent selection of investment opportunities to promote the group's growth. Doha has a promising financial market which is experiencing extensive growth and escalating development momentum at different levels". Al Eisa further considers that the launch of the Samba business in Qatar will contribute significantly to the achievement of its vision to expand its regional presence, especially in light of the positive results that accompanied Samba's launch in Dubai. Mr. Al-Eisa also expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to all authorities involved in granting Samba its license in Qatar, including the Ministry of Finance, Qatar Central Bank and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. Samba looks forward to engaging in banking activity in the State of Qatar and contributing to the development of Qatar's banking industry. Mr. Al-Eisa also thanked the authorities for their deep confidence in Samba's abilities and accumulated experience in the provision of quality banking and investment services which it will use to cater to the growing needs of the Qatari market. Mr. Eisa M. Al-Eisa also acknowledged the historic ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the constructive and growing cooperation which brings together representatives of economics, the financial sectors and trade bodies in both countries which resulted in a wide range of joint projects. He also extended his deep thanks and gratitude to the Saudi authorities for their efforts in supporting the Saudi financial and banking industry, including the Ministry of Finance, Saudi Arabian Monitory Agency (SAMA) and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Al Eisa emphasised the keenness of Samba to be present in the Qatari market through an integrated suite of services and products which provide financing and investment solutions for all High Net worth and corporate segments in the State. The opening of Samba's headquarters in Qatar is another move in its geographical expansion following earlier steps in acquiring a majority stake in Crescent Commercial Bank in Pakistan in 2007, which was renamed to "Samba limited". Samba was also the first Saudi Bank to operate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2008, just before obtaining a license to operate as a foreign investment institution by. The Centre for Securities and Stock Exchange in India. These are all in addition to Samba's presence in the United Kingdom, which was established in 1984.