Arabian Centres’ FAS Labs gets SAMA nod to set up microfinance firm

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Saudi Arabia’s leading owner and operator of shopping malls, Arabian Centres Company’s (ACC) subsidiary, FAS Labs, has secured preliminary approval from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to set up a consumer microfinance company. 

FAS Finance, a Shariah-compliant closed joint-stock company, fully owned by FAS Labs, will operate as a digital consumer microfinance firm with a capital of $14.7 million and it will be regulated by the Finance Companies Control Law. 

The new business will offer customers a variety of microfinance solutions, as part of Arabian Centres’ strategy to diversify sources of income and boost profitability. 

The preliminary approval does not constitute a final license to start providing financial services and is subject to completion of the incorporation of FAS Finance according to the Companies Law, Arabian Centres said in a bourse statement. The approval also specifies that FAS Finance shall meet all incorporation requirements within six months from the approval date to secure the final license.

FAS Finance looks to offer its customers a variety of microfinance solutions based on the latest available technologies. Such products will be available at launch on the expansive retail network of Arabian Centres’ tenants, who are located across 23 centers in 11 major Saudi cities.

The launch of FAS Finance is in line with Arabian Centres’ strategy to offer a lifestyle experience through its centers in Saudi Arabia. The company targets to attain this by creating an omnichannel shopping experience for customers while diversifying sources of income and enhancing profitability, which in turn will create long-term sustainable value for shareholders and stakeholders.

FAS Labs is a limited liability company that is equally owned by Arabian Centres and Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. It was recently established to lead joint digital initiatives for both companies, including offering the shoppers a specialized and advanced loyalty program and simplified and innovative consumer financing solutions.

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