- Mashreqbank, headquartered in Dubai, is actively pursuing its digital expansion strategy in highly populated countries, with a particular emphasis on Saudi Arabia. CEO Ahmed Abdelaal stated in an interview that the bank has applied for banking licenses in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Pakistan, and is also aiming to grow its presence in Egypt.
- The bank is ongoing advanced discussions without specifying a timeline for approval. Mashreq will provide purely digital services in certain countries, scaling up its online platforms in Egypt and launching a digital bank in Pakistan within 12-18 months. They focus on digital operations to attract younger customers, as online platforms are the primary means of accessing banking services in some countries like Egypt.
Why it matters
Mashreq bank in the UAE has reduced its branches from 37 to 7. It has strengthened ties with Noon, the Middle East's version of Amazon, and launched Neo NXT for teenagers. The bank's wealth management business has seen significant growth, attracting wealthy investors due to Dubai's pandemic response. Mashreq has also benefited from the booming property market and increased investments from sovereign wealth funds driven by higher oil prices.