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Sun 4 Mar 2012 06:34 PM

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New CEO appointed for Saudi's largest lender

Al Rajhi Bank announces change at the top after Abdullah bin Sulaiman Al Rajhi resigns

New CEO appointed for Saudi's largest lender
The website of Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia

Al Rajhi Bank,
Saudi Arabia’s largest publicly traded lender, has appointed Sulaiman bin
Abdul Aziz Al Zaben as chief executive officer after Abdullah bin
Sulaiman Al Rajhi resigned.

Al Zaben’s
appointment will be effective April 1, the bank said in a statement to
the Saudi bourse on Sunday. Al Rajhi resigned to pursue his personal
business, it said, without providing further details.

Al Rajhi
reported in January a 14 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, beating
analysts’ estimates. The lender reduced provisions for bad loans to
SR540.6m in the quarter from SR546.5m a year
earlier.

Saudi
Arabian banks may benefit from a pick-up in lending as the biggest Arab
economy invests in infrastructure and industrial projects.

The
government forecast a budget surplus of SR12bn this year
after King Abdullah announced a $130bn spending plan last year to
build homes and reduce unemployment.

Al Rajhi
shares closed unchanged at 80.75 riyals on Sunday before the announcement.
The stock has gained 16 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent
increase for the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index.

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