Saudi Hollandi Bank has come a long way since its inception in 1926. Originally known as The Netherlands Trading Society, the bank had one office in Jeddah providing financial services to Haj pilgrims from Indonesia.
By the 1950s, Saudi Hollandi had opened offices in Al Khobar and Dammam, and later branched out to Riyadh, Jubail, Makkah, Hofuf, Madinah and Qatif. Since then, Saudi Hollandi has emerged as one of the Kingdom’s leading financial institutions with several interests, including a stake in ABN AMRO.
Despite the economic downturn, Saudi Hollandi Bank enjoyed a more profitable fourth quarter last year compared with 2007. The bank generated $82.3m net profit between October and December after registering a $28.2m loss the previous year. Operating income for 2008 climbed 18.9 percent to $559m, while the bank’s assets stood at $16.3bn.
Geoff Calvert, Saudi Hollandi’s managing director, attributed the growth to rising operating income, more cost control and a “conservative investment policy”. Whether the bank can achieve such growth again this year remains to be seen, but the board and shareholders will be encouraged by the 2008 figures.