May 7, 2018 / 12:10 PM / 7 months ago

Gulf Capital acquires stake in Saudi fintech firm

DUBAI (Reuters) - Gulf Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based private equity firm, said on Monday it has bought a stake in Geidea, the leading provider of electronic payment solutions in Saudi Arabia, for a deal value exceeding 1 billion riyals ($267 million).

The transaction comes just days after the launch of an initiative by Saudi ِArabia’s central bank to promote financial technology in the kingdom, it said in a statement.

The move comes as other financial centers in the Gulf region including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain are looking to cultivate a financial startup scene to position themselves as regional powerhouses in financial technology or fintech.

Gulf Capital did not disclose the size of the stake, but said this is its fifth investment in the technology sector and is part of its efforts to develop the payment and digital financial transaction sector in the Gulf region.

Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital, said in a statement in a relatively short period Geidea has emerged as the market leader in the financial technology sector in Saudi Arabia.

Geidea was established in 2008 with branches in Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and Tabouk, while it also has 35 maintenance centers in different areas of the kingdom.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Tom Arnold

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