Time: November 04, 2019
The merger of Alawwal Bank and SABB has been awarded “Deal of the Year” at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Middle East Awards. The merger made Saudi banking history, creating the third largest bank by assets in the Kingdom.
Soren Nikolajsen, deputy managing director, transformation at SABB (and former managing director of Alawwal Bank), accepted the award for the newly combined bank. “A merger of this scale and complexity has never been attempted in Saudi Arabia. Every new stage we reached, we were breaking new ground and writing the book for future mergers in the Kingdom. It was an epic challenge but we were driven by the opportunity to create the best bank in the Kingdom — and I’m pleased to say our integration is on track to deliver on that,” he said.
The legal merger of the two banks completed on June 16, joining two of the longest running banking legacies in Saudi Arabia. Its completion highlights the maturity of the Kingdom’s capital markets, as the country’s Vision 2030 strategy looks to diversify the economy and facilitate international investment.
Nikolajsen added: “I’d like to dedicate this award to everyone who made the merger a reality, as well as expressing our gratitude to the Kingdom’s regulators for their unwavering support. Most of all, I would like to thank our staff, whether they were directly involved in the merger, or making sure our customers received a first-class business as usual service throughout — everyone played their part.”
The combined bank has cemented its position as a top tier financial institution in the Kingdom with SR257 billion ($68.68 billion) of total assets and a total revenue of SR10.9 billion. The merger creates increased scale and capacity to support an increasingly diverse customer base, while offering unrivalled international connectivity for retail, corporate and institutional clients.
The IFLR Middle East Awards Ceremony is hosted annually, celebrating the most innovative transactions achieved and the teams that work on them.