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Saudi bank not concerned about Credit Suisse’s governance

Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
Some 307.6 million of the new shares are expected to be bought in private placement by Saudi National Bank

Saudi National Bank (SNB) said on Friday it had not come across any information that might raise concerns over the governance of Credit Suisse and was supportive of the transformation plan announced by the bank on October 27.

The comments came in response to concern from two other investors over the Swiss bank’s handling of any potential conflicts of interest for Michael Klein, then board member, and director Blythe Masters when it implemented a sweeping overhaul last month.

Saudi National Bank, part owned by the kingdom, has agreed to invest 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.59 billion) in the Swiss lender and is set to take a stake of up to 9.9 percent.

Earlier, Saudi National Bank chairman Ammar Al Khudairy said its investment in Credit Suisse is tactical rather than strategic, adding that the Saudi lender expects to hold its stake in the Swiss bank for at least two years.

Speaking to Al Arabiya TV, he said majority government-owned SNB would not consider selling its stake in the Swiss lender in the short-term.

“We could start to think of exiting perhaps in 2024-2025. The investment will not be for less than two years and could be longer than that,” he added.