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2 Saudi banks agree to merge

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 aspiration to be the kingdom’s leader in wealth management, all supported by online and mobile services.

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