Barclays is exploring a return to Saudi Arabia in a bid to capture a slice of the country’s burgeoning capital markets, two people close to the matter told Reuters.
The British bank is looking at securing a license in the kingdom to be able to manage deals including initial public offerings (IPOs), the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
They added the deliberations were at an early stage and no final decision has been made. Barclays declined to comment while a representative for Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority did not respond to a request for comment.
The bank gave up its Saudi licenses in 2014 amid a global retreat of its investment banking operations under then-chief executive Antony Jenkins.
The bank is authorised to operate in the Dubai Financial Centre and Qatar, but in its latest annual strategic report it said it aimed to “selectively expand” its investment banking presence in the Middle East.