SABB

The Saudi affiliate of British banking giant HSBC, SABB is a joint stock company with a track record stretching back over three decades. The bank has built on Saudi’s reputation as one of the strongest banking sectors in the region, posting a net profit of $779m for the year end, up $84m, or 12 percent, on the previous year’s figures.

The Saudi lender has started the year in style, despite forecasting a modest 0.7 percent growth in 2009, down from 4.2 percent in 2008. In February, SABB confirmed plans for a 1:4 bonus share issue, which would raise its capital to $2bn.

Last month saw SABB snatch the title of ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in Saudi Arabia 2009’, following a year where the bank’s trade finance volumes grew 72 percent, and it introduced a new portfolio of Islamic export financing products.

The Saudi lender has also had a change in top-level staff; its chief executive John Coverdale stepped down last month, after more than three years at the helm. He was replaced by former COO Richard Groves.