First News
Volume:7, Number:44
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Business & Finance 3

Saudi Arabia Cannot Find Buyers for Its Two Banks

Saudi Arabia is about to cast off its oil depen - dence, build brand-new industries, and open its economy to foreign investment, according to the government. That might make it a good time to buy into a Saudi bank. And substantial stakes in two of them are up for sale. But in both cases, it is interna - tional lenders who seek to get out — and there are no big-name global banks eager to buy, according to analysts. One result of austerity in Saudi Arabia is the worst growth since the world recession of 2009, and its forecast to slow further this year. New construction projects are scarce, and payments to builders got held up last year. That is hurting banks that lend to them. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has reported - ly for years been seeking to sell its 40 percent stake in Alawwal Bank, while Credit Agricole SA is considering a sale of its 31 percent stake in Banque Saudi Fransi.

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