Tuesday 15, May 2018 by Jessica Combes

Japan's SoftBank to open Saudi Arabian office


SoftBank plans to open a Saudi Arabian office, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The expansion will further strengthen the Japanese technology investor’s ties with the Kingdom, though it already has close links with Riyadh after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund contributed to SoftBank’s $93 billion Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund.

SoftBank and PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, are also in early talks with banks about potential funding for the world’s biggest solar power project, which is being built in the kingdom, according to a report by Reuters, citing sources.

Saudi Arabia is vying to entice major financial and technology players as it looks to accelerate its bid to diversify its economy away from a dependence on oil. According to a Reuters report in Decmber, in the technology sector Apple and Amazon are in licencing discussions with Riyadh on investing in Saudi Arabia.

And among financial services groups, Goldman Sachs plans to expand its business in Saudi Arabia after being cleared to trade equities, while Citigroup is considering seeking a full banking license in the kingdom, Reuters said.

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