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The resignation of the head of the National Bank of Saudi Arabia after a note by Credit Suisse

The resignation of the head of the National Bank of Saudi Arabia after a note by Credit Suisse

(Bloomberg) –

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Ammar Al-Khudairi, chairman of the board of directors of the largest shareholder in the Credit Suisse AG group, resigned just days after his remarks, which helped cause a decline in the shares of the Swiss bank.

Al-Khudairi, who became chairman of the board of directors of the National Bank of Saudi Arabia in 2021 when it was created by the merger of National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group, will leave his position for “personal reasons” and will be replaced by CEO Saeed Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, according to a statement on Monday.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television earlier this month, Alkhudairi said “absolutely not” when asked if the Saudi National Bank would be open to further investments in Credit Suisse if there was another call for additional liquidity.

The Swiss bank’s shares fell to an all-time low and credit spreads soared after his comments. This helped push all European banks lower as investors turned away from risk after the collapse of three US lenders.

Days later, UBS Group AG agreed to buy Credit Suisse in a landmark government-brokered deal aimed at containing a crisis of confidence that was beginning to spread through global financial markets. UBS has offered to pay 3 billion francs ($3.3 billion) to rival it in an all-share deal that includes extensive government guarantees and liquidity provisions.

The National Bank of Saudi Arabia, which is 37% owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has seen the value of its investment in Credit Suisse drop by nearly $1 billion in a matter of months after it acquired nearly 9.9% of the shares for 1.4 billion francs last year.

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Born in 1963, Al-Khudairi has spent his career in the financial sector in Saudi Arabia managing some of the best institutions in the kingdom. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Khudairi also founded the alternative asset management company, Amwal Al Khaleej and Amwal Capital Partners, based in Riyadh and Dubai.

Separately, the National Bank of Saudi Arabia has appointed Talal Ahmed Al-Khereiji as acting CEO. He previously held the position of Executive Vice President and Head of Wholesale Banking at the Saudi lender.

(Adds details about Khudairi throughout.)

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