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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Pictet Bank Sued by Saudi Company, Accused of Aiding Bribery Scheme - Bloomberg

Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie was sued by Saudi Arabian company Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment Corp., which said its employees got help from the bank in a bribery scheme.

Three employees at the company’s Al Rushaid Parker Drilling Ltd. unit laundered more than $4 million in kickbacks through accounts with Pictet, the company said in a lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“Pictet’s part in the conspiracy was clear -- it was charged by the corrupted employees with responsibility of concealing their receipt of the bribe money,” Al Rushaid Petroleum said in the complaint.

Saudi assets gain over SR35bn in July - Emirates 24/7

Strong oil prices allied with an increase in crude production to boost Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets by more than SR35 billion in July and push them to their highest ever level, official data showed on Saturday.

Analysts said the increase in July and in previous months during 2011 indicates the world’s dominant oil power is earning more than spending and this could turn a budgeted fiscal deficit into a surplus if crude prices remain firm.From about SR1,897bn ($505.8bn) at the end of June, total foreign assets controlled by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), the Gulf kingdom’s central bank, soared to a record high of SR1,932.4bn at the end of July, Sama said in its monthly bulletin for May.

The increase meant that Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets swelled by a whopping SR227bn in the first seven months of 2011, the biggest increase in such a period of time, according to financial analysts in the country.The surge was a result of a sharp rise in oil prices, which averaged about $108 in July, nearly $50 above Saudi Arabia’s budget forecasts.