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Saudi Arabia freezes billionaire’s accounts

The Saudi central bank has ordered local banks to freeze the accounts of a Saudi billionaire billed as the world’s 62nd richest men.

business Updated: May 31, 2009 23:14 IST

The Saudi central bank has ordered local banks to freeze the accounts of a Saudi billionaire billed as the world’s 62nd richest men.

An individual who has seen the directive said Sunday that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency ordered banks to freeze transactions with Maan al-Samea. Al-Samea is the chairman of the privately-held Saudi conglomerate Saad Group.

Al-Samea also holds a roughly 3 per cent stake in HSBC Holdings PLC.

The person who saw the directive told The Associated Press that the central bank did not provide an explanation for the order, which was sent to banks May 28 and affects five of the accounts and credit cards of al-Samea’s relatives.

The individual demanded confidentiality because of the sensitivity of the matter.