DUBAI Feb 20 Rania Nashar was named chief
executive of Samba Financial Group on Monday, becoming
the first female CEO of a listed Saudi commercial bank in line
with the government's economic and social reforms.
Nashar is a board member of Samba's global markets
subsidiary and a Pakistani unit, and has nearly 20 years of
experience in banking.
Women, banned from driving in Saudi Arabia and subject to a
system of male guardianship, hold few top posts in the financial
But reforms which Saudi Arabia launched last year to make
the economy more efficient and less reliant on oil exports
include boosting the role of women in the economy.
The Saudi Stock Exchange last week appointed its first
female chair, Sarah al-Suhaimi, who became the first female
chief executive of a Saudi investment bank when she took the
helm of NCB Capital in 2014.
The kingdom's top sovereign wealth fund, the Public
Investment Fund, holds stakes in major companies and is at the
centre of restructuring the economy. It is hiring Saudi women to
help manage its assets, sources familiar with its operations
Saudi Arabia's reform plans aim to have women account for 30
percent of the workforce in coming years, up from the current 22
Samba is Saudi Arabia's third-largest bank by assets.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; editing by Andrew Torchia and Jason