The Business Year

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AlHassan Goussous

CEO, Albilad Capital

Albilad Bank is one of the youngest banks in Saudi Arabia. Something that we like to stress is that we have the strictest sharia board, which often means we miss out on business. We are also launching the first sharia-compliant custody business in Saudi Arabia. This will help us, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Some of the Islamic funds in the UK that want to access Saudi Arabia require a sharia-compliant custodian; that is becoming one of the main growth areas for us. It is going to become a competitive area in Saudi Arabia because the regulations are going to split the role of the fund manager from that of the custodian. That is the main business, and with Vision 2030, we are excited because we believe a large amount of business will come to investment banks, privatizations, and a focus on more institutional business, turning family companies into proper corporations and listing them on the primary and secondary market (NOMU) being set up.

Hesham Hussain Abou Jamee

CEO, Alistithmar Capital

Alistithmar Capital offers wide-ranging investment products and services to individuals as well as institutional clients. We have a state-of-the-art online trading platform and well-trained brokers for local and international brokerage services. We also offer conventional and sharia-compliant margin facilities to increase clients’ purchasing power. Our asset management team is dedicated to delivering returns above client expectations and offering innovative solutions in many asset classes, like equity, fixed income, money market, and real estate with different strategies in different markets. We offer mutual funds, discretionary portfolios, and customized investment products. Our talented corporate finance team works to manage IPOs, rights issues, issuance underwriting, mergers and acquisitions, and sukuk and bond issuances. We help our clients clarify their needs and financial goals, create investment strategies, and build diversified portfolios. In short, for an investor, we have become an all-inclusive financial services company with appealing products for all types and classes of investors.

Hasan S. Al Jabri

CEO, Hasan S. Al Jabri

The past two to three years have been interesting. Since 2015-2016, we have been focused on Saudi real estate and been able to conclude solid investments, mainly in defensive income generating real estate. They end up making about 7% in net returns annually; therefore, it is a solid product with a good yield, which is one way our clients are able to diversify. In the future, we see that this will be a promising line of business as well. New regulations within the Capital Market Authority will encourage and induce more investments into income-generating Saudi real estate through the real estate investment trusts that has just been announced. This will be an area of great interest to the real estate industry and to investors because it provides them diversification and access, especially for medium- and smaller-sized investors. This will continue to be a very interesting area for us from that angle.

Ammar Alkhudairy

Chairman, Amwal Al Khaleej

We focus on two things: growth areas and existing management that we can rely on to drive that growth. The term growth sectors has different meanings in different economies. In Saudi Arabia, it could be demographic, retail, and consumer, while in the UAE oilfield services have been good for us. Typically, finding management talent has been a challenge in the region. We like to make investments in companies where management is well established. We have been targeting the middle segment, family-owned businesses. In some cases, even though the company is family-owned, the management will have been separated from family ownership for some time now. Those are even more attractive. Our growth changes with time. In the mid to late 2000s, the building materials sector was hot and experienced attractive growth. Today, though, we would not invest there because there was a super-cycle, and we did a lot of construction in Saudi Arabia for both infrastructure and superstructure.

Suliman Azzabin

CEO, Deutsche Gulf Finance

The company was established in 2010 as a real estate mortgage financing company. In 2012, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) established new mortgage laws, which were exactly what the industry required and were perfectly suited in terms of regulating the market. Our focus from the onset has been on real estate, mainly mortgages for residential. We additionally do commercial lending, which also covers loans for business and commercial purposes, though residential mortgages are our core line. One of the main challenges that we face is competition from banks as the cost of borrowing for us is higher and we therefore cannot truly compete for high-end clients as they typically fulfill all the conditions, such as earnings, with banks. Instead, we actively target the middle and lower segments of society, in particular first-time buyers. They are the true beneficiaries of SAMA’s regulation shift, and with the huge demand for housing in the country, are an ideal segment to tap into. Our portfolio today is a mix between different segments from a wide range of income backgrounds.



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