One of the locations operated by National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Riyadh. All of its assets and those of Samba have been folded into the new behemoth - Saudi National Bank. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s newest bank is now open…

Created from the merger of two banking giants, the Saudi National Bank immediately starts off as being the ‘largest’ in the Kingdom. It sure has the numbers.

• Total assets – 896 billion riyals ($239 billion)

• Combined net profit – 15.6 billion riyals ($4.2 billion)

• Shareholders’ equity – 127 billion riyals ($34 billion)

• Combined market share – 30 per cent

“With the legal completion of the merger, Saudi National Bank is in prime position to compete regionally and locally, ultimately creating a positive impact for all of our stakeholders,” said Ammar Alkhudairy, Chairman of Saudi National Bank.

Customer facing
Customers should continue to bank as normal with their respective banks and "will not experience any difference to their banking services," the new entity said in a statement. "In case of any updates to products, services, or if any action is required from a customer, the bank will communicate in advance to advise of any changes."

Single listing too

The new bank began trading as a single entity on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on April 1. Samba shares have been de-listed and all its assets, liabilities and operations transferred into the Saudi National Bank.

NCB had earlier won regulatory approval to increase its capital from 30 billion riyals to 44.78 billion riyals. Samba shareholders receive 0.739 ordinary shares in Saudi National Bank as consideration for every ordinary Samba Financial Group share held.

Next steps

The integration process is expected to be complete within the next 18 months. "Clients, counterparts, and stakeholders will be advised on how the merger may affect them in a phased manner over the coming months," the statement said.

According to Saeed Al-Ghamdi, Managing Director and Group CEO of Saudi National Bank, "The legacy banks NCB and Samba served the Kingdom over the last 68 years and now, we combine their respective strengths to lead the future of banking that is committed to creating value for the nation and its people."

Path to a merger
NCB and Samba initially entered into a Framework Agreement to conduct due diligence and negotiate definitive and binding terms of a potential merger on June, 25, 2020.

Following the completion of the due diligence phase, NCB and Samba signed a binding agreement to merge on October 11, 2020, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

During two extraordinary general assembly (EGA) meetings on March 1, 2021, NCB and Samba shareholders respectively voted overwhelmingly in favor of the merger.

NCB changed its name to Saudi National Bank and, accordingly, Samba merged into Saudi National Bank on 1st April 2021.