HSBC and Berkley fall after Saudi accounts frozen by banks

SHARES in HSBC and housebuilder Berkeley Group dropped yesterday after the accounts of a major shareholder were frozen by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).<br /><br />The Saudi central bank ordered domestic lenders to freeze the bank accounts of businessman Maan al-Sanea, one of the country&rsquo;s wealthiest businessmen.<br /><br />Sanea is chairman and founder of the Saad Group, which is active in healthcare, education and contracting. Al-Sanea made international headlines in 2007 when he spent &pound;3.3bn on a 3.1 per cent stake HSBC. He still held around three per cent at the end of 2008, plus a stake of 28.8 per cent Berkeley Group.<br /><br />HSBC closed one per cent lower yesterday at 552p, while Berkeley Group dropped 2.26 per cent to 866.50p.