Saudi National Bank Chairman Resigns for ‘Personal Reasons’ After Comments on Credit Suisse Cost Company ‘£20 Billion’
The chairman of the Saudi National Bank has resigned for ‘personal reasons’ less than two weeks after his comments on Credit Suisse fuelled the lender’s share price crash that ultimately saw it acquired by rival company UBS. Ammar al-Khudairy said on March 15 that the Saudi National Bank – Credit Suisse’s biggest shareholder – would not provide more money to the Swiss lender. The comments caused Credit Suisse shares to drop by around a third of their value at the time.
Global economic forecasting company Oxford Economics said on Thursday that the Saudi National Bank now faces over £20.4 billion in losses. The incident further spooked international markets already reeling from other bank collapses and high inflation brought on in part by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The lender invested an additional £1.22 billion in Credit Suisse to take its holding in the Swiss bank to nearly 10% of its value. The filing on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange said al-Khudairy would be replaced by Saeed al-Ghamdi, the bank’s chief executive. It did not elaborate on al-Khudairy’s departure, only citing ‘personal reasons’.
Saudi National Bank stock traded at more than 12 dollars a share Monday. They had been as high as nearly 22 dollars a share over the last year. Hours later, Switzerland’s central bank agreed to lend Credit Suisse up to 54 billion dollars (£44.1 billion) to shore up its finances.
On March 19, banking giant UBS said it would buy Credit Suisse for almost 3.25 billion dollars (£2.65 billion). That is even as Credit Suisse had some 1.4 trillion dollars (£1.1 trillion) in assets under management at the end of last year. Gulf Arab investors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been among some of those hardest hit by Credit Suisse’s collapse.