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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Samba Financial Group

Samba Financial Group was formed pursuant to Royal Decree dated 26/3/1400 H. (February 12, 1980), to take over the then existing branches of Citibank, N.A. in Jeddah and Riyadh, which were opened in 1955 and 1966 respectively. Samba was formed in accordance with a program adopted by the Kingdom in the mid-1970s, under which all foreign banks were required to sell majority equity interests to Saudi nationals. Samba commenced business on February 12, 1980 and closed its first fiscal year on December 31, 1980.
The principal terms and conditions of the deal were: 44.5% of the equity was sold to the Saudi public for cash, under rules which favored the allocation of shares to small subscribers. Share allocations were made to nearly 166,000 individual subscribers.

An additional 15.5% of the equity was sold for cash to a selected group of Saudi founders, including the original Saudi members of the Board of Directors. Thus, Saudi nationals held 60% of the total share capital. Citibank acquired the remaining 40% of the equity in exchange for assets of its Riyadh and Jeddah branches. Citibank entered into a Technical Management Agreement under which it agreed to manage the new bank.
This agreement provided that Citibank would second staff to the new bank and provide technical support, and that it would not receive compensation for these services other than as a shareholder (except for reimbursement of actual expenses). Towards the end of 1991, Citibank sold part of its equity ownership in Samba to two Saudi national agencies for social welfare. As a result, 70% of the share capital of Samba was held by Saudi nationals and institutions while Citibank retained 30% ownership of the share capital of Samba.

On July 3, 1999, Samba merged with the United Saudi Bank (USB) by exchanging 1 new share in Samba for each 3.25 existing shares in USB. The merged bank retained Samba name and there was no change in the composition of the Board of Directors. The merger did not affect the Technical Management Agreement with Citibank.
This resulted in Citibank holding 22.83% of the merged bank shares. However, near the end of 2002, Citibank sold 2.83% of its shareholding to a Saudi agency. As a result, Citibank held 20% of the share capital of Samba.

On September 14, 2003, Samba moved to a full local management, culminating a transition plan previously agreed with Citigroup. On December 14, 2003, the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting was held and resolved to amend several of the company's Articles of Association including changing the name of the company to " Samba Financial Group". On May 26, 2004, Citibank sold its 20% share capital to a Saudi agency.
On March 9, 2005, the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting decided to increase the share capital of the company from SR to SR divided into 600.000.000 of equal nominal value of fifty Saudi Riyals cash shares , all of which will be ordinary and as one class in all respects.

Samba was the first Bank to offer Priority Banking (Gold and Diamond), Phone Banking, Credit Shield, Saving Linked Insurance, Cash Deposit through ATMs, Speed Cash Remittance Service and Automated Signature Verification. It was also the first bank to establish a dedicated Investment Department, introduced the first local equity fund and the first fund, (SAIF), open to overseas investors and listed on the London Security Exchange.

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