Baltimore wins US$2.8m Gulf contract

19 Mar 2003

E-security software company Baltimore Technologies has signed a US$2.8m contract with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the central bank of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to enable online trusted transactions between a network of Saudi banks.

Baltimore’s public key infrastructure (PKI) technology will underpin the online payments systems within the banking sector to assure the integrity and authenticity of all transactions. As well as this, its PKI technology will be used to create the Root Certificate Authority for the financial services industry within the kingdom.

“Baltimore was selected because of its flexible and scalable PKI-based digital identity and signature management system,” said Ibrahim Al-Sayari, director of banking technology with SAMA. “Baltimore’s ability to provide a complete solution for this project has been a decisive factor and enables SAMA to ensure that Saudi banks can conduct e-business with confidence using digital signatures.”

According to Baltimore, the project will allow SAMA to act as a trusted certificate authority for one of the Gulf region’s most important banking networks.

Baltimore’s chief executive Bijan Khezri said: “We see this transaction as a critical platform for expansion in to the [Gulf] region, which we believe, will provide significant growth in IT investment in the years to come. Historically, SAMA has been recognised for technology leadership and has also frequently set the standard throughout the region.”

News of the deal came as Baltimore announced it had cut its losses by 90pc last year after cutting hundreds of jobs and reducing costs.

The company said pre-tax losses dropped to £65.3m sterling in the year to December 2002 from £660m sterling the previous year. Sales fell 50pc to £35m sterling after the company got rid of a number of businesses.

By John Kennedy