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February 2017

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The Union of Arab Banks has unanimously chosen Al Eisa, Chairman of Samba Financial Group, as the Arab Banker of the year 2017

The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) announces that it has unanimously chosen H.E. Mr. Eisa M. Al Eisa, Chairman of Samba Financial Group, as the Arab Banker of the year 2017. This Award is the highest award offered annually by the UAB to the most distinguished Arab bankers.

Sheikh Mohamed El-Jarrah El-Sabbah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Union of Arab Banks, indicated that the selection of H.E. Eisa M. Al Eisa for this prestigious award was made during the recently held 102 annual meeting of UAB’s Board of Directors. The board member representing 20 Arab states, have unanimously chosen Al Eisa for this award in recognition of his continuous efforts and wise leadership of the leading posts he held, that contribute to the financial and economic stability during his long professional career and his relentless efforts to promote the economic and social development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as his role in achieving the highest performance among the Arab banks while leading Samba Financial Group.

"The award is planned to be handed over to Al Eisa during a ceremony to be organized by UAB during next May in London, the British capital, under the patronage of Her Excellency Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, at the presence of Dr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, and a group of Arab and international banking and political leaders, during the Arab-international banking summit", added Sheikh El-Sabbah.

"The Arab banking community includes high-profile bankers such as Al Eisa, who is a source of pride for the banking sector, not only in Saudi Arabia, but on an Arab and international level", Sheikh El-Sabbah was quoted as saying.

For his part, Al Eisa expressed his pride for winning this prestigious award by the Union of Arab Banks, being one the most important Arab organizations, concerned with unification of Arab banking efforts, overcoming the challenges that hinder the advancement of the Arab banking and financial industry, assuming a leading role in the development of the prospects of this vital industry and adopting the highest standards to improve the professional practices of the Arab banking and financial institutions, promote their performance and raise their competitiveness.

Al Eisa further addresses his thanks and appreciation to Sheikh Mohamed El-Jarrah El-Sabbah, Chairman of the UAB’s Board of Directors, as well as its members and to Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh, the UAB’s Board Secretary General. "I, personally, as well as Samba Financial Group, are firmly committed to providing all forms of support to maintain the reputation of the Arab banking industry, developing its tools, and contributing to achieving the economic and financial stability of the Arab banking institutions", added Al Eisa.

"I take pleasure to commend the leading and efficient role of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) in establishing the reputation and standing of the Saudi banking sector, thanks to its adoption of a series of long-term strategies that contributed to accomplishing leading achievements by the Saudi Arabian banking institutions", Al Eisa was quoted as saying.

Al Eisa is one of the prominent financial and banking sector leaders in the Middle East, with high regional and international reputation thanks to his extensive banking experience and remarkable performance in the leadership of one of the largest regional and Arab banking institutions, Samba Financial Group, and his vision of the prospects of the banking landscape in the Kingdom and the Arab world. For more than 30 year, Al Eisa contributed significantly to the evolution of the Saudi banking sector, enrichment the productivity of the sector and enhancement of its quality and competitiveness. He also led the provision of innovative initiatives and products that have had a significant role in developing the performance of banking institutions and improving their tools.

Al Eisa has also significant achievements in leading Samba Financial Group through several challenging and successful stages including overseeing and managing the merger of 3 banks successfully, which were Samba (Saudi American Bank previously), United Saudi Bank and Saudi Cairo Bank. In one of the most important achievements of Al Eisa, when Citibank decided unplanned non-extension of the Technical Agreement with the bank, Mr. Al-Eisa has ably led the process of demerger and transition to local management smoothly and in record time, which was a very complicated process in terms of technological, organizational, human, and legal aspects.

Al Eisa has also contributed to expanding the regional and international presence of Samba Financial Group through the launch of Samba banking business in regional and international markets such as the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Pakistan and India. The group managed his leadership to achieve consistent growth in income and profitability. The group’s net income jumped from SAR 1 billion in 2003 to more than SAR 5 billion in less than ten years. The prudent strategy of the group’s executive management provided for the unprecedented growth of the shareholder returns, strength of assets and earning per share. Under the leadership of Al Eisa, the group was ranked as the second safest bank on a global level and the first in the Middle East by The Banker magazine. The group was also ranked as the safest bank in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia by Global Finance. The Group received many awards and high ratings from specialized international institutions, including "best bank in Saudi Arabia" by Global Finance, in recognition of its performance as one of the largest and best leading financial institutions in Saudi Arabia.

Thanks to his achievements as well as his resounding local, regional and international reputation, Al Eisa won many high recognition awards during his banking career. He won the "Lifetime Achievement" Award by "Euromoney", a prominent banking and financial publication. He also won "Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Sectors in the Middle East" by CEO Middle East magazine; "Best CEO in Banking and Financial Institutions Sector in Saudi Arabia" by the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute; "Best CEO in the Middle East" by emeafinance; and "Preferred CEO of the Year" by HR Gathering and Award, in addition to other prestigious awards.