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Standard Chartered to expand banking services in Jordan, says CEO

July 3, 2014

Amman, July 2 (Petra) -- Standard Chartered bank is mulling expanding its banking services in Jordan, thanks to the success it achieved over the past four years, CEO for Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP), Christos Papadopoulos, said. In a recent interview to the Petra news agency, he added, "Our branch in Jordan was able to achieve the highest growth percentage amongst all of our branches in the region, which makes it one of the biggest contributors to the bankÂs regional revenues." From a revenue perspective, the bank in Jordan ranks fourth after the UAE, Pakistan and Bahrain and from a corporate clientÂs perspective, the bank ranks third after the UAE and Pakistan, he noted. "We are proud of our business performance, clients and the growth of their businesses. Standard Chartered is the only international bank that offers retail services in the Kingdom and we will remain committed to invest in our business here," Christos said. He added that the strategy discussed recently by key seniors from the bank in Amman took into consideration the growing investment opportunities in infrastructural projects, while noting that the bank will continue to contribute to establishing solid infrastructure in the Kingdom to cater to the sectorÂs needs and eventually to boost the economy. "Many large corporations that are owned by Jordanians and have business activities in the region and the world, prefer to bank with an International bank such as Standard Chartered. We simply help them cater to their clients needs, both locally and globally," the CEO said. Further, he explained that the strategy which aims at expanding the bankÂs services will be implemented in the second half of this year or latest by the end of this year. The bank will not increase the number of its branches but will introduce new products, he noted. Among the new products introduced by the bank, the most important was the "custody" services which will play an integral role in the development of capital markets by providing investors access to the securities market, he said. On the retail side, Christos said that the bank believes in expanding its products' portfolio, while focusing specifically on credit cards, personal loans and wealth management, affirming its "commitment to deepening relationships with our clients by providing them with services that meet their needs." The top banker noted that the bank does not look to serve individuals only but complete sectors in the Jordanian community such as the middle class and entrepreneurs. Another example, he added, is the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which are considered the backbone for the Jordanian economy. On the possibility of increasing the bankÂs capital to meet the new requirements of providing new products, Christos said that Standard Chartered is considered the best international bank in Jordan in terms of capital, adding that the management complies with all regulatory requirements. "The current capital will assist us at least for the coming five years." On competition in local market, Christos said that the local banks provide good services. However the innovation that the bank is looking towards is in the e-services backed by solid risk management based on the best international practices. As for products, Christos stressed that Standard Chartered is a major international player in a number of fields, especially Sukuk, bonds, derivatives and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to that, the bank provides comprehensive structuring solutions, noting that a limited number of local banks can provide all these services. The most important role that the bank is playing as an international bank is connecting JordanÂs business community with the bankÂs footprint in Asia and Africa, especially in international trade, and this is exactly what JordanÂs economy needs, Christos said. On the financial and banking environment in the Kingdom, he said that the bank is committed to the best international practices in corporate governance, noting that it is grateful to the Central Bank of Jordan for issuance of corporate governance regulations. He expressed the confidence that it will benefit the banking sector, adding, "It is fair to say that the Central Bank of Jordan adopts the best standards in this domain." Commenting on the investment environment in Jordan, especially in the context of current unrest in the region, the Standard Chartered MENAP CEO said, "There is a certain degree of instability and unrest. However, I donÂt think that the turbulence in Syria will affect the investment environment in Jordan, which is considered a safe haven. IÂm confident that the Jordanian regime will be able to maintain peace and stability despite all circumstances." He added that he is optimistic about the economic growth in Jordan for many reasons: having qualified human resources, security and stability and the ability to grow. Further, he pointed out that the initiatives undertaken by the Central Bank of Jordan reinforce the supervision role in the banking sector. //Petra// A SH2/7/2014 - 02:17:54 PM

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Source: Jordan News Agency

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