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The fintech sector sees surge and increasing investments, says Saudi Arabia’s finance minister

Saudi Arabia's financial and digital sectors experience rapid growth with new initiatives and increasing investments.

The fintech sector sees surge and increasing investments, says Saudi Arabia’s finance minister
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia’s financial and digital sectors are experiencing rapid growth as the country gains momentum with its Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, says Minister of Finance H.E. Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

At the Financial Sector Conference held in Riyadh, Al-Jadaan noted that KSA has already made significant progress towards reducing its reliance on oil.

To demonstrate how Saudi Arabia is emerging as a leading financial hub, Al-Jadaan says, “Assets of the Saudi banking sector increased by 37% since 2019, reaching $960 billion by the end of 2022, while the number of financial technology companies increased during that period from 20 to 147 companies in 2022.”

Fintech emerged as the most funded industry in the country in 2022, with $239 million raised, a 167% increase compared to 2021, according to MAGNiTT’s 2022 Saudi Venture Capital Report.

As investments continue to rise, the country is introducing new initiatives to encourage the thriving sector. For example, in November last year, the Saudi Central Bank introduced an open banking framework, which allows businesses to test their products and services against established frameworks, thereby fostering financial innovation in the country.

The minister also highlighted that Saudi Arabia remains a reliable partner for investors. Five international financial institutions, including BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Standard Chartered, have joined the government’s first dealer program, adding to KSA’s primary dealers’ program. 

“The Public Investment Fund completed its first ever international green bond issuance for $3 billion in October and another $5.5 billion last month, as a source of success for Saudi Arabia,” said the minister. “The National Development Fund injected nearly $4 billion last year to support local and international projects in industry, energy, mining, and logistics.”

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