KHOBAR/DUBAI, March 28 (Reuters) - Citigroup has formally applied for a licence to conduct capital markets business in Saudi Arabia, two sources familiar with the matter said, in a major move to return to the country after a roughly thirteen year absence.
The application has been made with Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority (CMA), whose primary role is to regulate and develop the capital market in the oil-rich kingdom, the sources told Reuters.
The sources declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter
Investment opportunities in the kingdom are opening up as the government diversifies its economy away from oil under its National Transformation Plan. The government is also preparing to list up to 5 percent of oil giant Saudi Aramco, an initial public offering that could raise as much as $100 billion.
Citi declined to comment on its Saudi plans. The CMA was not immediately available to comment. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine in KHOBAR, Saeed Azhar and Tom Arnold in DUBAI; Additional reporting by Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; Editing by Mark Potter)