The Capital Market Authority (CMA) recently announced that it has come to the resolution to authorise BNY Mellon Saudi Financial Company to conduct Custody activities in the securities business, according to a short statement on Sunday.
The CMA of Saudi Arabia is the financial regulatory authority for the capital markets within the country. The announcement follows on from media reports towards the end of last year, that the company was seeking a licence from the CMA.
According to Bloomberg News, BNY Mellon, an American banking and financial services company, had applied for a custody licence from the Saudi regulator in November of 2019. At the time, a decision was expected to be reached as soon as a month after the application, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Middle East region is one to watch
The financial and trading markets of Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf region in general, are becoming increasingly popular, with dealer activity heating up within the country.
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In a recent webinar with experts in offshore financial jurisdictions, panellists explained that the Middle East is becoming a region to watch, and it might soon become a big hotspot, especially for trading.
Tal Itzhak Ron, Chairman and CEO at legal firm Tal Ron, Drihem & Co. highlighted that he is seeing an increase in clients with a solid Arab speaking customer base, seeking financial licences from the Middle East, especially in Dubai.
Graeme Watkins, the CEO at Valutrades Limited, also pointed out that with Tier 1 financial jurisdictions increasingly tightening their regulation, and with previously favoured countries in Asia, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, looking to do the same, the Middle East will become and increasing attractive destination.
BNY Mellon eyeing Saudi Arabia for years
According to an earlier report by Reuters, BNY Mellon was looking to establish an office within Saudi Arabia to access opportunities to service the kingdom’s overseas assets back in 2018, according to sources familiar with the matter.