Ammar al-Khudairy, Chairman of the Saudi National Bank (SNB), resigned from his position on Monday after his comments contributed to the share collapse of the troubled bank Credit Suisse. SNB Managing Director and Group CEO Mohammed al-Ghamdi will replace Al-Khudairy, with former deputy Talal Ahmed al-Khereiji appointed as the new SNB acting CEO, according to a statement released to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

The bank stated that Al-Khudairy is stepping down “due to personal reasons.” His resignation follows his mid-March comments to Bloomberg that SNB was unlikely to increase its stake in Credit Suisse amid a crisis of investor confidence that caused the European lender’s shares to plummet. Al-Khudairy’s remarks effectively reiterated SNB’s previous position of not expanding its holdings beyond its 9.9% interest as Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder.

However, his comments fueled investor panic, leading to a 24% drop in Credit Suisse shares during that session. The Swiss bank was subsequently acquired by Zurich rival UBS on March 19 for 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.2 billion) in a deal brokered by the Swiss government. As a result, SNB lost approximately 80% of its investment in Credit Suisse, totaling over $1 billion.

SNB, the largest commercial bank in Saudi Arabia, was formed in 2021 following a merger between the National Commercial Bank and the Samba Financial Group. The kingdom has encouraged the consolidation of its financial entities as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s broader Vision 2030 initiative to diversify Saudi Arabia’s revenue streams and economic growth prospects away from hydrocarbon earnings.

Source: CNBC