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 Bahrain Mumtalakat to Invest in Singapore Gulf Bank

Photo credit: Bahrain Mumtalakat

Bahrain Mumtalakat to Invest in Singapore Gulf Bank

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, has announced that it will invest in Singapore Gulf Bank (SGB), a new digital bank backed and founded by Whampoa Group, a privately-held investment group headquartered in Singapore.

The announcement was made in the presence of Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy and Chairman of Mumtalakat and the Co-Chairpersons of the Whampoa Group Lee Han Shih and Madam Amy Lee.

Mumtalakat’s investment will enable SGB to effectively launch and grow its business in Bahrain and follows SGB’s recent award of a banking licence by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), marking a major milestone in Whampoa’s growth plans and ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

SGB will offer a secure and integrated platform to access and manage conventional and digital assets and financial solutions, including round-the-clock real time settlement, trading connectivity, custody and asset management. It serves global investors, innovators and institutions looking for a differentiated digital banking experience.

Serving as a bridge between Asia and the MENA region, SGB will be fostering financial connectivity and facilitating cross-border trade, particularly in the digital economy. Bahrain’s well-established financial services and innovation hub, fast-growing diversified economy, and strategic location at the heart of the Arabian Gulf, make it an ideal destination for SGB.

Aureole Foong, Co-CEO of Singapore Gulf Bank, said that SGB was honoured to have been trusted with a banking licence by the CBB, and to mark this important achievement with a demonstration of strong support and commitment from such a prestigious investor as Mumtalakat.

“With this partnership, we are dedicated to working closely with CBB and the broader Team Bahrain to drive innovation in the financial services industry and foster global financial connectivity,” Foong added.

Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that the announcement underscored their commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth in Bahrain and their belief in the transformative potential of digital banking that SGB offers. The financial services sector remains a cornerstone of Bahrain’s economy and they were proud to contribute to its development through this investment, he added.

SGB will support the development of Bahrain’s digital banking ecosystem and will see the Kingdom become the first in the region to allow offshore onboarding of banking clients. It further supports Mumtalakat’s wider efforts to diversify its portfolio and facilitate the continued transformation of Bahrain’s economy.

Profits in 2022

Mumtalakat reported strong operating profits of $665.88 million which contributed to the Group’s solid financial performance in 2022, while Group revenue increased by 23% from $5.84 billion in 2021 to $7.16 billion in 2022.

The increase was primarily attributable to Aluminium Bahrain’s (Alba) all-time high production of 1.6 million metric tonnes, as well as Gulf Air Group’s rising revenue as a result of high customer demand following the removal of nearly all pandemic-related restrictions worldwide.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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