The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has agreed in principle to grant a permit to the HSBC Bank to establish a branch in Kuwait.
CBK Governor Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah has told KUNA that the approval will be followed by a procedural step according to a 1968 law, namely referring the matter to the Council of Ministers.
Al-Sabah said that the CBK is presently looking into other requests by other foreign banks to open branches in Kuwait.
The London-based HSBC is the third foreign bank to win the Kuwaiti government's approval to open a branch in the country after endorsing amendments to a law in 2004.
In January 2005, the CBK permitted the Abu Dhabi National Bank to open a branch in Kuwait and in August 2004, it granted the BNB Paris Bank the same right. Under the new law, foreign banks wishing to open branches in Kuwait are no longer required to have the Kuwaiti government or financial or banking institutions as shareholders.