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Saudi Bank Chairman Leaves After Debacle Around Credit Suisse

Saudi Bank Chairman Leaves After Debacle Around Credit Suisse

Ammar al-Khudairy, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) chairman, has resigned. According to the Saudi bank, a significant shareholder in Credit Suisse, the chairman is stepping down for “personal reasons”.

The departure of the chairman follows more than a week after his comments about the ailing Swiss bank caused a share price fall.

Ammar al-Khudairy, who became chairman of SNB in 2021, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on March 15 that the bank had no intention of making additional investments in Credit Suisse. The chairman explained that this was impossible due to the applicable rules and that Credit Suisse had not asked for help, but the damage had already been done. After his comment, Credit Suisse shares plummeted by nearly a quarter.

According to the chairman, the fall in price was “completely unfounded”. However, the global banking sector had come under scrutiny with the collapse of US regional banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. As a result, investors reacted nervously to any news about the industry. Credit Suisse’s share price, which had already plummeted due to a series of scandals at the bank, therefore remained under pressure.

Finally, on Sunday, March 19, Credit Suisse was taken over by its giant Swiss rival, UBS, under duress from the Swiss authorities. However, UBS buys Credit Suisse at a significant discount. The Saudi lender, which invested about 1.4 billion euros in Credit Suisse at the end of last year, saw its nearly 10 percent stake in the Swiss bank fall by almost a billion euros. SNB CEO Saeed Mohammed al-Ghamdi will take over the role of chairman from Ammar al-Khudairy.

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