NCB to change name to Saudi National Bank after its merger

The deal to merge with Samba will create the Arab world’s third-biggest banking entity with assets of $223bn

 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia -- July 19, 2009 -- A National Commercial Bank (NCB) branch. Michael Bou-Nacklie for The National
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National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's biggest lender by assets, plans to change its name to Saudi National Bank, once it completes its merger with rival Samba Financial Group.

The deal will create the Arab world’s third-biggest banking entity with assets worth $223 billion.

"The committee responsible for preparing the integration plan resolved that the proposed name [Saudi National Bank] shall be the new name of the merged bank" once the merger is approved, NCB said in a statement to Saudi Stock Exchange, where its shares trade.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the banking regulator and shareholders of both NCB and Samba, is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, the two lenders said in separate statements to the bourse on Monday.

NCB and Samba in October agreed to merge to create the biggest banking entity in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy.

Under the binding agreement, Samba shareholders will receive 0.739 newly issued NCB shares in exchange for each Samba share they hold. All Samba assets and liabilities will be transferred to NCB and once the transaction is complete, Samba “will cease to exist”, the lenders said at the time.

Both NCB and Samba have government entities as significant shareholders and once the deal is completed, NCB’s existing shareholders will own 67.4 per cent of the combined entity and Samba’s shareholders will own 32.6 per cent.

The biggest shareholders in the new lender will be the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, with a 37.2 per cent stake. The Public Pension Agency will control 7.4 per cent and the General Organisation for Social Insurance will own 5.8 per cent of the merged entity.