Industry: Banking & Finance
Company: Al Rajhi Bank - Saudi Arabia
Country: Saudi Arabia
Wealth: 5.2 Billion
Sulaiman Al Rajhi is chairman of
Al Rajhi Bank
, Saudi Arabia’s largest Islamic bank, established by royal decree in 1988. The bank’s origins date back to the 1940s when it started operating as a money changer in the Kingdom. Today, its operations include retail, corporate and investment banking.
Sulaiman owns the largest cut of the institution’s shares, and the last six months have not been kind to Sulaiman or his beloved bank.
It could have been far worse, and earlier this year Sulaiman looked in trouble as
shares tanked in the wake of the severe economic downturn. The bank’s shares lost more than 50 percent of their value between August 2008 and March of this year, but have since staged a recovery of sorts, and today rest at around two thirds of their August 2008 worth.
In July, the bank said second quarter profit rose 1.7 percent year-on-year. In a statement on the Saudi bourse, it said it made a net profit of $472.3m in the three months ending June 30, 2009 against $464m in the year-earlier period.
In addition, Sulaiman has a range of side business interests from cement production to agriculture. A philanthropist, he founded the SAAR Foundation, a flagship corporation representing charities, think tanks, and business entities.