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Saudi Arabia's biggest lender NCB signs binding merger agreement with Samba

·1 min read

DUBAI, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's biggest lender National Commercial Bank (NCB) said on Sunday it has entered into a binding merger agreement with Samba Financial Group, a smaller bank, to create a combined entity with 837 billion riyals ($223 billion) in assets.

Upon completion of the merger, shareholders of Samba will receive 0.739 new NCB shares for every one share of Samba, NCB said in a bourse filing.

Low oil prices and weak economic growth are pushing banks to consolidate across the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is a major investor in both banks, with a stake of 44.29% in NCB and 22.91% in Samba. ($1 = 3.7506 riyals) (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)