Saudi bank 'hit by US bias'
One of the biggest banks in the Middle East is being
hit by the US stance on terrorist funds, a report has
Deposits at Saudi American Bank (Samba) fell by almost
$600m (£410m) in the first three months of the year.
The fall could be in protest against the Bush
administration's ban on US banks accepting
transactions from some Islamic charities believed to
have connections with terrorism, according to the
Samba is 22.8% owned by the US' Citibank, and is Saudi
Arabia's second largest bank with 57 branches and
Dwindling deposits is unusual at the bank which
enjoyed steady gains during each quarter last year.
Some Saudi investors are thought to be moving their
money to other banks as part of a wider boycott of US
products in protest of its perceived bias towards
Israel and against Arabs.
Samba chief executive, Mike de Graffenried, refused to
comment on the reason for the decline, and some
analysts acknowledged that there could be other
reasons for the drop.
The revelation of falling deposits came as the bank
announced a rise of 4% in quarterly profits to 549m
Saudi riyals (£100.5m; $146.4m).
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