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Standard and Poor's Upgrade Samba's Rating to A+ with Stable Outlook
June 2010

Standard and Poor's (S&P), the international credit rating agency, has announced that it is raising Samba's rating from A to A+, with a Stable Outlook. This increased credit rating further underlines Samba's solid capitalization, strong funding and liquidity indicators, in addition to the balanced risk profile, despite the challenges faced by financial institutions during recent times.

Mr. Eisa M. Al Eisa, Chairman of Samba Financial Group, emphasized that this high credit rating reflects the quality of the Group's assets, the stability of its performance, as well as its ability to stand up to the upheavals of the financial markets and maintain encouraging results, in a manner that contributes to enhancing Samba's reputation and its leading position in the local and regional banking industry.

Al Eisa also indicated that the rating upgrade criteria used by S&P took into consideration the bank's financial strength, its leading role in the industry and dominant market position in the corporate and retail services; factors that were instrumental in instilling further confidence in Samba's abilities included, the Bank's financial position and long-term strategies, in addition to its growing capital base and greater immunity to market risks

"The rating action reflects our view that Samba's financial profile has continued to strengthen, supported by resilient financial performance, solid capitalization and strong funding and liquidity indicators" said Standard and Poor's credit analyst Nicolas Hardy.

"We also considered that Samba benefits from a superior market position in Saudi Arabia. The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Samba will maintain its leading commercial position, solid capitalization, balanced risk profile and solid operating revenues' he added.

This rating upgrade of Samba Financial Group by Standard & Poor's comes shortly after another recent upgrade earlier this year by Moody's Investors Services, which raised Samba's rating to Aa3 from A1 with a stable outlook on all ratings.