STOCK - Saudi National Bank / SNB
A branch of Saudi National Bank in Riyadh. Image Credit: AFP

Credit Suisse Group AG’s largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, will hold about a 0.5 per cent stake in UBS Group AG once the Swiss lenders complete their merger.

The Riyadh-based bank, which is 37 per cent owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, held about 9.88 per cent of Credit Suisse before UBS agreed to buy its rival in a historic, government-brokered deal.

Reporting first-quarter results that beat estimates on Monday, Saudi National Bank said its investment of 1.4 billion francs ($1.6 billion) in Credit Suisse had declined by approximately 20 per cent by the end of 2022 and then a further 70 per cent during the first three months of this year. The carrying value of the investment at the end of March was 1.3 billion riyals ($346.6 million), it said.

Still, there was “no income statement impact” as the bank had made an “irrevocable election, as permitted by the accounting standards, to present subsequent changes in the fair value of the Credit Suisse investment through other comprehensive income”, it said.

UBS agreed to take over Credit Suisse in March after its rival was pushed close to collapse by client withdrawals and a dramatic share-price decline, capping years of scandals and losses.

Saudi National Bank’s former chairman Ammar Al Khudairy resigned just days after his comments to Bloomberg TV helped trigger the slump in the stock and bonds that prompted the Swiss government to step in and arrange the takeover.