Saudi State Miner Maaden Names Third CEO in 13 Months

Saudi Arabia’s state miner has appointed its third chief executive officer in the past 13 months after the departure of Mosaed Al Ohali.

Abdulaziz Al Harbi, a senior vice president at Saudi Arabian Mining Co., will replace Al Ohali as acting CEO until further notice, the company said in a statement Sunday. It said Al Ohali left “for personal reasons.”

Bloomberg earlier reported the news of Al Ohali’s departure.

The stock of Maaden, as the company is known, rose 2.1% to 59.60 riyals on Sunday, a record high on a closing basis and giving it a market valuation of almost $20 billion.

Gold, Copper Drive

Maaden is majority owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund. It is a major part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to diversify the economy from oil by developing other natural resources such as gold, copper and phosphate. As part of that drive, the firm’s considering international acquisitions to boost its global footprint.

Ohali was named CEO in April last year, replacing former HSBC Holdings Plc banker Darren Davies, who had been in the role since mid-2018.

Maaden made a profit of 761 million riyals ($203 million) in the first quarter, slightly below what analysts had expected.

Al Ohali said in a February interview that the company aims to reduce its debt ratio this year and keep a cash cushion rather than return money to shareholders. Maaden hasn’t paid any dividends since its listing in 2008.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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