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Middle East's Best Bank Awards

Saudi Arabia: Best Corporate and Investment Bank 2020

Samba Capital

SABB may be Saudi Arabia’s best bank, but no financial institution based in the Kingdom can compete with Samba Capital’s investment banking team.

To describe it as the beating heart of the country’s capital market is not mere hyperbole.

It was one of only three banks to make it to the top line of Saudi Aramco’s $26 billion initial public offering, completed in December 2019.

It was there when Saudi fashion retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz raised an $800 million multi-currency loan, courtesy of a consortium of local banks, in March 2020.

And it was on hand in May 2019, when Saudi Telecom Company completed its debut international sukuk, a 10-year US dollar issue that drew $3.5 billion in orders.

Samba Capital was canny in its timing too, issuing $500 million worth of seven-year bonds in January 2020, before the pandemic emerged in full from China.

It is hard to see beyond Samba Capital for this award, not just this year but in any given year.

It is the country’s leading equity capital markets underwriter since 2004, according to Dealogic.

It was one of four bookrunners on Arabian Centres’ Tadawul listing, a $749 million IPO that was the largest Saudi listing since 2014.

A few months later, Aramco blew it out of the water.

On the advisory side of business, Samba Capital had a steady if not spectacular year. It advised Hassana Investment Company, the investment arm of the General Organisation for Social Insurance of Saudi Arabia, on its joint venture with NMC Health, with the aim of creating a network of world-class hospitals in the Kingdom.

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