BNP, Citigroup Among Most Exposed in Mideast’s Biggest Default

BNP Paribas SA and Citigroup Inc. are among global banks with the most exposure to about $14 billion of accepted claims related to the collapse of two Saudi business empires more than a decade ago, Bloomberg News reported. The French bank is owed about $750 million by Maan al-Sanea’s Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. -- two family holding companies that defaulted on roughly $16 billion in 2009 -- after a Saudi court accepted its claims, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. The U.S. bank is owed about $270 million by Saad Group, the documents show. The court’s approval last month of claims from more than 100 local and international banks, hedge funds and other creditors is a milestone in the Middle East’s longest-running and biggest defaults that have involved court cases spanning from London to the Cayman Islands. Read more