Saudi Banks Act in Unison to Reassure Investors on Oil and Virus

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(Bloomberg) --

Saudi Arabia’s banks are all on the same page when it comes to the message they want to send to investors this earnings season: they’re financially sound, even with the double whammy of the coronavirus and collapse in oil prices.

All of the oil-rich kingdom’s listed lenders used the same language -- word-for-word -- to highlight their strength and warn that it’s still too early “to determine the size and extent of the financial impact at this stage.”

The kingdom’s largest lender, National Commercial Bank, was the first to reassure investors on Tuesday that “its financial soundness indicators are strong and able to stand the current economic challenges.” It also said government initiatives to support the banking sector “will limit the economic and financial impact” of the measures taken to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

By the time Arab National Bank posted the same statement to the stock market just one hour later, that message had been repeated ten times.

Saudi banks will start reporting their first-quarter earnings in the next few weeks.

The statements from NCB, ANB, Al Rajhi Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi British Bank, Riyad Bank, Alinma Bank, Samba Financial Group, Bank Al Bilad, Bank Al Jazira and Saudi Investment Bank also said:

  • Any significant developments will be announced in due course
  • Branches and remittance centers have resumed operations according to the working hours set by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority
  • All banking services are available to customers and can be provided through the electronic channels.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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