The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banking: NBK sets sights on Syria after big regional push

National Bank of Kuwait is hoping to gain a bank branch licence in Syria soon. The bank is still preparing its application but expects to get the green light during the next two months.

More on National Bank of Kuwait

Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK

"There are not too many Egyptian banks for sale now"
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK

When it does, it plans to set up a $106.3 million banking subsidiary. NBK would hold a 49% share of the new lending operation, the maximum allowed by the Syrian authorities. Once NBK gains entry into the Syrian market, it will have a presence in all of the leading markets in the Middle East and Arab region, following the completion last month of investments in Egypt and Turkey. In Egypt it bought Al-Watany Bank for $516 million; in Turkey it signed an agreement to buy a 40% stake in Turkish Bank (NBK declines to reveal the total cost).

Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s chief executive, says the Al-Watany deal was important because Egypt is the biggest market in the Arab world. He admits that NBK had been seeking an investment in the country for a while and had previously failed to buy a number of local banks. Al-Watany was one of the few remaining opportunities.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree