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Samba Seen as Top Bank Pick in Saudi Arabia by Dubai’s Arqaam

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Arqaam Capital said it “strongly” reiterated its “buy” recommendation on Samba Financial Group and that the lender is it’s top Saudi Arabian bank pick.

Samba will likely post a 7 percent increase in earnings per share this year and is well positioned for future demand for corporate lending, Dubai-based Arqaam analyst Jaap Meijer and colleague Michael Malkoun wrote in a note to investors.

Saudi Arabia’s $657 billion economy will grow 4.2 percent this year according to the median forecast of 15 economists compiled by Bloomberg. Bank lending to the private sector rose 15.5 percent in March, according to data from the central bank.

Arqaam also upgraded Alinma Bank to buy and downgraded Arab National Bank and Riyad Bank to hold.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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