JPMorgan subsidiary to sell Saudi Investment Bank stake for $203 million

JPMorgan International Finance, which has held a minority stake in Saudi Investment Bank since 1976, will divest its holding by selling its shares back to Saudi Investment Bank
Updated 25 June 2018
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JPMorgan subsidiary to sell Saudi Investment Bank stake for $203 million

  • A subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to sell its minority stake in Saudi Investment Bank for 759.3 million riyals ($203 million)
  • JPMorgan, which is the only U.S. bank providing both commercial banking and securities services in the kingdom, did not disclose the size of the stake or the financial terms of the deal

DUBAI: JPMorgan Chase has become the latest international bank to trim its exposure to Saudi Arabia, with an agreement to sell its minority shareholding in Saudi Investment Bank.

But the bank, the only US lender providing both commercial banking and securities services in Saudi Arabia, has insisted that it remains committed to the Kingdom, stating that the sale is part of winding-down of “non-core holdings and projects.”

Saudi subsidiary JPMorgan International Finance, which has held the stake since 1976, agreed to sell shares representing 7.49% of the SIB’s capital back to the bank for 759.3 million riyals ($202.2 million), the Saudi bank said in a statement on Tadawul on Sunday. 

The transaction was subsequently confirmed by JPMorgan in a statement sent to Reuters. 

The agreement to sell down shares in SIB comes a month after UK lender RBS agreed to sell its stake in Alawwal Bank, as part of a merger between Alawwal and SABB.

The merger — which will create Saudi Arabia’s third largest lender — comes as RBS looks to exit Saudi Arabia due to its own capital requirements. 

JPMorgan on Sunday insisted that it remains optimistic about the Kingdom’s economic prospects, and is seeking to benefit from other opportunities stemming from reforms being pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Globally, the firm has wound-down non-core holdings and projects over the past several years and this proposed sale is consistent with that consolidation effort,” said Bader Alamoudi, senior country officer for JPMorgan, told Reuters.

“We are excited and optimistic about the kingdom’s economic prospects, the opportunities offered by Vision 2030 and our firm’s ability to support it.” 

JPMorgan is among banks advising the Saudi government on the upcoming listing of Saudi Aramco, likely to occur in 2019, which may raise as much as $100 billion.

SIB shares rose 2.1 percent on Sunday on the Tadawul, on a day when shares in most banks, financial service providers and insurers finished in positive territory. 

Arms of the Saudi government are collectively the largest shareholder in SIB, the tenth-largest Saudi bank by assets, owning 34.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. 


Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

Updated 20 July 2018
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Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said in an interview released Friday he is willing to hit all Chinese goods imported to the US with tariffs if necessary.
“I’m ready to go 500,” the Republican leader told the US network CNBC, referring to the $505.5 billion in Chinese imports accepted into the US in 2017.
“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said.
“We’ve been ripped off by China for a long time,” he added.
After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the US early this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese mechanical and technological products — sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back dollar for dollar.
China accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.”
A second tranche of $16 billion in products is under review and could soon be added to the US measures.
In the full interview released Friday Trump reiterated his claim that the US is “being taken advantage of” on issues including trade policy.
“I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to do well,” the US president said of China. “I really like President Xi a lot. But it was very unfair.”
The US-China spat is the largest and broadest of several trade fights picked by Trump.
The growing share of international trade under threat has raised the prospect the escalating trade war could harm the global economy by disrupting companies supply chains, pushing firms to hold off on investments and making goods more expensive for consumers.
In excerpts of the interview released on Thursday Trump had broken with the long-established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve’s decisions out of respect for its independence.
“I’m not thrilled,” Trump told the network in an interview excerpt aired Thursday. “Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.”