NCB names new CEO

Updated 30 January 2013
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NCB names new CEO

Saeed bin Muhammad Al-Ghamdi has been appointed new CEO of National Commercial Bank after the resignation of Abdul Kareem Abu Al-Nasr. This was announced yesterday by Mansour bin Saleh Al-Maiman, chairman of the board of directors of NCB.
He said the board accepted the resignation of Abu Al-Nasr, who wanted to get relieved of the position due to personal reasons, adding that the board commended Abu Al-Nasr’s services for the bank during the past years.
“The board appointed Al-Ghamdi as new chief executive officer who will take charge on March 1, 2013,” Al-Maiman said.
Al-Ghamdi is a well-known banker. He began his career as a computer engineer at the Ministry of Defense and Aviation. He later became the chief information officer and chief operation officer before becoming the director general of the personal banking group. He led the teams for the establishment of Al-Rajhi Bank in Malaysia and its branches in Kuwait and Jordan.


Costa Coffee to go solo pressed by investors

Updated 59 min 5 sec ago
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Costa Coffee to go solo pressed by investors

LONDON: Latte king Costa Coffee is to go it alone following pressure from activist shareholders on Whitbread, the global coffee chain’s parent company, a statement said Wednesday.
UK company Whitbread, which will hold onto hotel chain Premier Inn, said the spin-off is part of a restructuring drive that is set to be completed within two years.
“Given the progress Whitbread is making, we are confident that both Premier Inn and Costa will soon be businesses of sufficient strength, scale and capability to enable them to thrive as independent companies,” Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said in the statement.
“The board, therefore, believes that it is in the best long-term interests of Whitbread’s many stakeholders to separate Premier Inn and Costa, via a demerger of Costa,” she added.
Analysts welcomed the move.
“A cleaner operation should enable greater operational focus and afford investors greater clarity on profit and cash generation,” said analyst Greg Johnson at Shore Capital.
Whitbread’s announcement comes after activist investor, US group Elliott last week became its biggest shareholder with a six percent interest.
“The question will of course arise over whether CEO Alison Brittain jumped or was pushed into this proposal by the arrival of two activist investors on the shareholder register,” said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers.
Whitbread bought Costa in 1995 from founders Sergio and Bruno Costa and presently runs about 2,400 stores in the UK and some 1,400 around the world.
Its shops are popular with a wide array of coffee lovers, ranging from students in London, to journalists and Beirut, and tourists in Paris.
Premier Inn has 785 hotels in the UK plus some more in Germany and the Middle East.