Saudi Arabia is investing to develop a new digital bank with a capital of 1.65 billion riyals, which is about $440 million. It has approved a license and part of the fund will come from its sovereign wealth.
According to Saudi Arabia's central bank, a license for D360 Bank has been approved and it is the third such license awarded by the country. The funding is learned to be originated from a consortium of theÂ individual as well as corporate investors.
The licenses are in line with the development program of the country in a digital economy and simultaneously the central bank is encouraging investors for more applications in the segment.
Abreast to the digital bank licensing, the country licensed 19 fintech companies to facilitate more payments services, electronic insurance brokerage and consumer microfinance in the country.
Digital banks are gradually becoming popular in the country with the spread of financial technology in the entire Middle East region due to high-speed internet penetration and an increase in the young population. The growth movement was relatively slow in Saudi Arabia and digital banks, as well as electronic payments, are comparatively less in number.
Saudi Arabia is building a post-oil future and a plethora of measures have been taken in recent years. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) was hardly known to outsiders until 2015. Not it is at $1 trillion in assets and investments are being made in segments like electric carmakers, soccer clubs and bankrolls in new cities. It is mainly focusing on becoming the biggest crude-exporting nation in the world for a post-oil future.
The investment of PIF is basically in local businesses like Saudi Telecom Co., Saudi National Bank and national projects including Neom, which is a $500-billion city-state to be run on renewable power and facilitate exporting of green energy.
A $45 billion is committed to the SoftBank Group Corp.'s tech-based Vision Fund and simultaneously the foreign interests of the PIF have mushroomed too.
Investment is being made in electric carmaker Lucid Motors Inc. and video game makers Activision Blizzard Inc as well as Electronic Arts Inc.
Saudi Arabia has become the 6th largest sovereign fund in the world and below are related details:
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