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Saudi Arabia: NCB, Riyad Bank pull plug on merger plan

 |  December 17, 2019

Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender by assets, National Commercial Bank (NCB), and Riyad Bank, the kingdom’s fourth largest, announced on Monday, December 16, they had ended merger talks, without giving a reason.

“The boards of both banks have decided to end preliminary merger talks and not to continue with the merger study,” the two stated in separate stock exchange filings. 

The merger was expected to create a combined bank holding US$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 685 billion riyals (US$182.7 billion). 

Consolidation has increased in Saudi Arabia in the past two years as profit margins have been squeezed by lower government and consumer spending in the face of weak oil prices.

Full Content: Reuters

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