The London-based Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) will have a presence in Jordan after it acquired another foreign bank currently operating in the Kingdom, bankers said on Tuesday.
The bankers, who asked not to be named, indicated that the SCB will operate under the name Standard Chartered Grindlays after it bought the ANZ Grindlays Bank from the Australia New Zealand Bank Group in an agreement which was signed earlier this year.
The deal includes all ANZ Grindlays branches in the Middle East and East Asia region.
Standard Chartered Bank currently has branches in the Arab Gulf region and wants to have operations in Jordan and Egypt.
“The SCB step [buying ANZ Grindlays] was aimed at expanding its activities in Jordan and the region”, one bank source said. He indicated that the bank is waiting to finalize the legal procedures and get the go-ahead from the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ).
Among the procedural steps that must be taken are those which relate to the registration of the bank in Jordan, the sources said.
“We are still waiting for official permission from the CBJ to start our work,” one source said.
The move has been taken amid speculation of possible mergers among local banks and reports that some foreign banks have showed interest to have operations in the Kingdom.
Many believe that Jordanian commercial banks could face “strong competition” from new foreign banks which will operate in Jordan.
Currently, the ANZ Grindlays Bank operates eight branches in Jordan, six in Amman and one each in Aqaba and Irbid.
In addition to ANZ Grindlays Bank, five foreign banks are currently operating in Jordan, namely, Citibank, HSBC, Egyptian Arab Land Bank and Rafidain Bank. — (Jordan Times )
By Tareq Ayyoub