News Gulf ............................................

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights -

Two Saudi Ara­bian banks - the Saudi Bri­tish Bank (SABB) and Alawwal Bank - are agree­ing to merge, cre­at­ing the king­dom’s largest bank. The merger, sub­ject to share­holder and reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, will cre­ate a top tier re­tail and cor­po­rate bank and pro­vide un­ri­valled ac­cess to a global bank­ing net­work. There will not be any staff re­dun­dan­cies as a re­sult of the merger, a joint state­ment by the two banks said. The two en­ti­ties will re­main in­de­pen­dent and con­tinue to op­er­ate their busi­nesses as usual un­til the merger is com­pleted, the state­ment said. SAAB chair­man Khaled Suleiman Olayan said the com­bi­na­tion of SABB and Alawwal Bank will cre­ate a pow­er­ful bank­ing fran­chise ready to fuel growth in the king­dom. The new bank will be a leader in re­spon­si­ble lend­ing and will set new stan­dards for fi­nan­cial aware­ness and lit­er­acy, he added. He also said that the com­bined bank will be a leader in cor­po­rate bank­ing, for­eign ex­change, cash man­age­ment and trade fi­nance, with a ro­bust re­tail fran­chise un­der­pin­ning as­pi­ra­tions to be the king­dom’s leader in wealth man­age­ment, all sup­ported by on­line and mo­bile ser­vices.

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