National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest lender by assets, agreed to buy rival Samba Financial Group for $15bn in the biggest banking takeover this year. NCB will pay SAR28.45 ($7.58) for each Samba share, according to a statement on Sunday, valuing it at about SAR55.7bn. NCB will offer 0.739 new shares for each Samba share, at the lower end of the 0.736-0.787 ratio the banks set when they signed an initial framework agreement in June. The offer is a 3.5 per cent premium to Samba’s October 8 closing price of 27.50 riyals and about 24 per cent higher than the level the shares traded at before the talks were made public. Bloomberg News first reported the merger discussions. The new bank will have total assets of more than $220bn, creating the Gulf region’s ...read more...