NCB, Riyad Bank boards agreed to end merger negotiations

December 16, 2019

RIYADH — The board of directors of National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Riyadh Bank agreed to end their merger negotiations.

Riyad Bank said in a bourse filing that its strategic vision will enable it to continue developing its products, services and technologies that serve the interests of its customers, shareholders and employees and enhance its leadership and competitive position.

On the other hand, NCB’s board of directors affirmed its commitment to achieving its vision of being the regional leading financial services group by implementing its sustainable growth strategy that aims to provide excellent services to its customers and achieve the best returns for its shareholders by attracting the best national skills and advanced technologies.

Both banks had started initial merger talks by the end of last year.

The merger was expected to create a combined bank that would have had a holding of $183 billion in assets and to further extend NCB's lead over its closest rivals, including Al Rajhi Bank, by boosting its assets by almost a third to SR685 billion.

Both NCB and Riyad Bank have a common shareholder in sovereign fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), which analysts said would have facilitated the tie up.

In June, 2019 Saudi British Bank (SABB) and its smaller rival Alawwal Bank completed a merger deal to create the Kingdom's third-biggest lender in the first major tie-up for the country's banking sector in recent times. — SG

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