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BNI to Open Three Branch Offices in Saudi Arabia
Selasa, 5 Februari 2013 | 05:39 WIB
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Skalanews - Fourth largest lender by assets, PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk or BNI (BBNI) will soon open branch offices in Jidda, Mecca and Medina as an effort to provide financial services for its customers conducting hajj and minor hajj pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

"Studies on the opening of branch offices in Saudi Arabia had been carried out. Hopefully, they will soon be operational," BNI president director Gatot M Suwondo said on the sidelines of a business forum in Jakarta on Monday (2/4).

Gatot said that the opening of the new branch offices was a follow up of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Bali between the government of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia on April 11, 2012.

The opening of branch offices in Saudi Arabia was to follow others, which had previously opened in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, New York and an auxiliary office in Osaka.

At the same occasion, BNI senior vice president A Firman Wibowo said that the opening of the new branches would facilitate financial transactions for 1.3 million migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, 300,000 annual hajj pilgrims and 750,000 minor hajj pilgrims who went to Saudi Arabia each year.

"With this, hajj pilgrims and migrant workers will not need to take with them large sum of cash, only to bring their ATM cards," said Firman.

As for executives, the new branch offices would facilitate their trade financing business, and the flow of their exports and imports.

Gatot explained that there was a huge flow of money annually circulating in Saudi from Indonesians, amounting around 500 to 600 million dollars. This money circulation is for the interest of transactions on hotel accommodation, food, souvenirs and trade deals.

"BNI is willing to become an investment bridge for Indonesian and Saudi Arabian business players," said Gatot.

Gatot said that BNI had surveyed locations on where the branch offices were to be opened. "Now we are asking permits from the Saudi financial authorities. We have also won support from the ministry of finance, Indonesian central bank (BI) and the ministry of religious affairs," he ended. (ant/nra)