Saudi Hollandi Bank

The banking system of Saudi Arabia appeared with the advent of Saudi Hollandi Bank in 1927. The first Royal Bank in Saudi Arabia was opened as a subsidiary of the Netherlands Trading Society.

Based on Islamic traditions, the name of Saudi Hollandi Bank was changed. Now, it is called Alawwal Bank, which means "first" in Arabic.

Alawwal Bank provides the following types of services: corporate and institutional banking, banking services for small and medium-sized businesses, retail banking, brokerage services, consulting services, insurance.

Financial experts from Saudi Arabia are unanimous in their opinion that thanks to the personality and activities of the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdel Aziz, a modern banking system has been formed in the country.

In 1927, Saudi Hollandi Bank was founded in Riyadh as a subsidiary of the Netherlands Trading Society. At that time, the Bank had one branch in Jeddah. In the 1930s, the work of this financial institution was designed to finance export and import trade operations, money transfers, money exchanges.

Saudi Hollandi Bank followed the spirit of Islamic banking. Adherents of Islam tried not to use the very word "bank." This word was replaced by others, for example, corporation, society.

Islamic banking and activities of Saudi Hollandi Bank

According to Islamic traditions, it is forbidden to use money received as a result of usurious activity or speculation. Lending to individuals and enterprises was a part of Saudi Hollandi Bank’s business.

This financial mechanism was dominant and was called the dealership. Exchange dealers successfully competed with foreign banks operating in the territory of Saudi Arabia. Exchange dealers were a kind of prototype of Islamic banks

Exchange dealers provided cash loans that were declared interest-free. However, a fee was supposed to be charged for the provision of the loan.

In the 1920s and 1930s, serving the financial needs of pilgrims accounted for about 75% of the profits to the state treasury. In 1932, King Abdel Aziz created the General Financial Agency, which was then transformed into the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom.

After discovering oil fields in 1939, revenue from the sale of crude oil to the Kingdom’s treasury increased significantly. There was a necessity for the exchange of funds for the internal needs of the state.

The Kingdom was in dire need of industrial equipment that could be acquired from abroad. Moreover, the country did not have a single national currency.

King of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz, introduced a single monetary unit – the Saudi riyal. In 1976, King Faisal tied the Saudi riyal to the US dollar. The cost of 1 dollar corresponded to 3,75 riyals. This price has been preserved to this day.

The rapid development of Saudi Hollandi Bank

In the 50s of the twentieth century, Saudi Hollandi Bank opened branches in Mecca, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Dammam, Riyadh, Qatif, becoming the leading financial institution in Saudi Arabia.

In 2017, Saudi Hollandi Bank changed its name to Alawwal Bank, which means “first” in Arabic, and acquired a 40% stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

At the end of July 2019, Alawwal was acquired by Saudi British Bank.

To buy Saudi Hollandi Bank shares or Alawwal Bank, register on the Dowmarkets platform, choose to trade with Dowmarkets.сom, Saudi British Bank instruments.

On August 5, 2019, shares of the Saudi British Bank were traded at 38,10 riyals. This amount corresponds to a little over $10.

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