Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank to buy rival lender to create country’s largest bank

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has said that it will purchase Samba Financial Group in a deal valued at $14.8 billion, creating what would become the country’s largest bank.  As per a filing in Riyadh’s Tadawul stock market by the NCB, the bank will control some $223 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $46 billion after the merger wins regulatory approvals. 

The merger is part of the financial sector development program of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy, and is the second big banking merger in the past year. 

Saeed Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, the chairman of NCB who will become managing director and group chief executive officer of the merged banks, said: “Saudi Arabia is undergoing a historic transformation with Vision 2030. Such a transformation requires a robust financial services sector, especially highly capitalized, resilient banks that can fund economic development, as well as support Saudi Arabia’s trade and capital flows with the region and the rest of the world. 

“Our ambition is to create a national champion that can facilitate the transformation envisaged under Vision 2030 and create a pioneer for next-generation banking services that nurtures tomorrow’s industry leaders.” 

Ammar Abdullah Alkhudairy, chairman of Samba who will assume the same position at the new bank, said: “Our merger with NCB will create a local leader and a regional powerhouse that can unlock considerable value for shareholders, provide exceptional banking services for the people of Saudi Arabia and help local entrepreneurs capitalize on opportunities for domestic and international business growth. 

“This merger process marks the start of a new era for Saudi banking supporting the realization of many Vision 2030 goals. We are focused on making sure that the combined and larger bank comes together seamlessly to serve our customers, partners, investors and talent across both teams.” 

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