RIYADH: The merger of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Samba Financial Group has been hailed as an important step in the Kingdom’s financial sector.
Following the merger the new bank will control a quarter of all banking in the Kingdom making it a true national champion in the Saudi banking industry.
It will become the Kingdom’s largest bank, serving approximately 25 percent of the retail and wholesale banking market. The merged bank will leverage NCB and Samba’s leading retail banking franchises, serving 26 percent of the market in retail loans and 29 percent of the market in retail liabilities.
This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)
NCB will control some $223 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $46 billion after the move wins regulatory approvals and is completed.
NCB Chairman Saeed Al-Ghamdi said: “Saudi Arabia is undergoing a historic transformation with Vision 2030. Such a transformation requires a robust financial services sector and resilient banks that can fund economic development as well as support the Kingdom’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.”
The deal will be implemented through the merger of Samba into NCB, which will result in all of the assets and liabilities of Samba being transferred to NCB.
Ammar Al-Khudairy, Samba’s current chairman, said: “Our merger with NCB will create a universal bank — a local leader and a regional powerhouse that aims to unlock considerable value for shareholders, provide exceptional banking services for the people of Saudi. This merger process marks the start of a new era for Saudi banking and will be a catalyst for the realization of many of Vision 2030’s goals. We are focused on making sure that the combined and larger bank comes together seamlessly to serve our customers, partners, investors and invaluable talent across both teams.”
A few months ago, NCB and Samba announced the signing of a framework agreement to begin due diligence process, and negotiate definitive and binding terms of a possible merger.
Walid bin Ghaith, a member of the Saudi Economic Association, said the merger is encouraged by the major shareholders, government and semi-government parties. “The main aim of the move is to build a more competent bank that is capable of conducting giant finance transactions for major investment projects led by the government,” he said.
Ghaith said the NCB has 428 branches while Samba has 73 branches and both banks are active in treasury activities and investment services.
“To create a new entity that is more efficient it is expected that the human resources will be optimized and so is the geographic presence and some of the unnecessary resources will be disposed. The new entity is expected to play a major role in financing the country’s megaprojects,” he said.