Samba Financial Group

Infobox_Company
company_name = Samba Financial Group
company_
company_type = Public
company_slogan = World Class Banking
foundation = 1980
location = Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
key_people = Saud Abdulaziz Algosaibi, Chairman
Eisa M. Al-Eisa Managing Director and CEO
num_employees = N/A
industry = Finance
products = Financial Services
homepage = [http://www.samba.com/ www.samba.com]
revenue = N/A

Samba Financial Group (formerly known as The Saudi American Bank), is a large banking firm in Saudi Arabia. The combined institution had 66 branches in the Kingdom, and has a branch each in London and Dubai, as well as a subsidiary in Pakistan, which has 28 branches across major cities in Pakistan.

History

Samba, or The Saudi American Bank as it was once known, was established on February 12 1980 with the takeover of Citibank branches in Jeddah and Riyadh in accordance with a Saudi nostrification program that forced all foreign banks to convert their branches to affiliates with Saudi nationals acquiring at least 60% ownership. Citigroup entered a Technical Management Agreement under which it agreed to manage the new bank. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, was the Managing Director of the bank in the 1990s.

First National City Bank (Citibank) opened its Jeddah branch in 1955, and its Riyadh branch in 1966. Citibank created SAMBA, in which it took a 40% share, to take over its branches in Saudi Arabia, pursuant to a Royal Decree on February 12,1980. In 1985 SAMBA opened a branch in Istanbul that it closed after 1994, and at one point maintained a subsidiary in Geneva and a representative office in Beirut. In July 1999 SAMBA merged with United Saudi Bank by an exchange of shares, to form one of the largest banks in the Middle East. Before the merger Citibank owned 30 percent of SAMBA, having sold a 10 percent tranche to two public agencies in 1991. After the merger Citibank was still the largest shareholder with 23 percent of the shares. Kingdom Holding Company (owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal) also had a large share ownership deriving from his ownership in United Saudi Bank.

SAMBA was always the acronym for the Saudi American Bank but the name was changed to Samba Financial Group permanently in 2003 and all references to Saudi American Bank were removed. This name change followed Citibank's decision to pull out of Saudi Arabia and sell its by then 20% stake to the General Organisation for Social Insurance. Officially, this was done due to the anticipated relaxation of laws governing foreign banks' operations in the Kingdom. Some speculate, that this was due to rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia. This has become more evident after the change of the Saudi British Bank name as well to SABB in 2006. Nevertheless SABB is still an HSBC partnership and they have changed their artwork and colors from Green and White to the HSBC logo.

In March 2007, Samba Financial Group acquired 68% of Crescent Commercial Bank Limited (CCBL) in Pakistan. In 2008, Samba opened a branch in Dubai.

References

http://www.ecoworld-mag.com/Detail.asp?InNewsItemID=132853


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