The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has licensed Cigna Worldwide Insurance Company; the first foreign health insurance company branch in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement on 6 February, SAMA stated that this falls under its initiatives to encourage foreign direct investments to increase competitiveness of the sector and utilize potentials of the Saudi economy. 

Additionally, enabling new international entrants will enhance the quality of provided services, increase diversification of investors and introduce unique business models to the market, the regulator said.     

SAMA further reaffirmed "its ongoing efforts to support financial sector as a whole, raise the level of effectiveness and flexibility of financial transactions and encourage innovation in financial services.

"Consequently, enhancing the level of financial inclusion in Saudi Arabia and providing access to financial services by all segments of society."