SAUDi ARABIA. Saudi banks have a combined exposure of around US$5 billion to the two troubles Saudi family conglomerates, Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros. (AHAB), according to a Standard Chartered report.
“We estimate that Saudi banks have approximately US$5billion of combined gross exposure to the Saad and Al-Gosaibi groups,” Singapore-based credit analyst Victor Lohle said in a report.
“Although significant, the exposure must be put into the context of a system with equity of about $50 billion,” Lohle wrote in the report today.
“We expect most of the banks’ financial profiles to remain sound,” he added.
Standard Chartered initiated coverage of the Saudi banking system with a “stable outlook” and said that Saudi banks currently trade rich, both in cash and CDS, compared with other banks in the Gulf region.
Court cases are also taking place between the two groups after the Algosaibi group claimed in a 22 May New York filing that Maan al-Sanea, the owner of Saad Group, used ‘falsified documents’ to obtain US$10 billion.
Units of the two Saudi family groups have borrowed at least US$15.7 billion from more than 80 regional and international banks, including Paris-based BNP Paribas New York-based Citigroup and Arab Bank in Jordan, according to documents provided by lenders.