Saudi National Bank gets approval to start Samba Bank Pakistan sell-off process

KARACHI-Pakistan central bank has granted approval to the Saudi National Bank (SNB), the immediate parent company of Samba Bank Pakistan (SBL), to start the sell-off process of SBL and undertake due-diligence, a bank notification said on Tuesday.
This undated photo shows regional branch of Samba Bank in Lahore, Pakistan. (Photo courtesy from Social media).

SNB in September this year announced that it was considering all its strategic options in relation to its shareholding in Samba Pakistan Limited, including potential mergers, acquisitions, divestment and/or restructuring as part of a strategic review. Subsequently, SNB announced that it had decided to divest SBL.

“The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted approval to Saudi National Bank (SNB) and its Advisers, team, to undertake Due-diligence of SBL, subject to compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations,” a notification sent to the Pakistan stock exchange by SBL on Tuesday said.

SBL is a subsidiary of SNB, formally SAMBA Financial Group (SFG), which holds 84.51 percent shares of the bank as of September 30, 2021.

SNB will commence an orderly and well-managed divestment of SBL subject to final board evaluation of the offers received, the bank has informed its shareholders, saying it had appointed advisers to assist the SBL management with the process and as necessary, provide consultancy to the management of the Bank on engagements with regulators in Pakistan.

TSBL, which has a network of 43 branches located in 14 major cities across the country, will be offered for sale to potential buyers after the evaluation of the bank’s assets and liabilities.

SFG, from Saudi Arabia, entered into a legally binding merger agreement with The National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Saudi Arabia in October 2020, according to a financial report of Samba Bank. 

As per the agreement, SGF was merged into NCB with effect from April 2021 in accordance with the applicable laws of the kingdom and NCB was renamed the Saudi National Bank (SNB) from the effective date of merger.

Consequent to the merger, all assets and liabilities of SFG, including its shareholding in the Bank, stood vested in SNB by operation of law and SFG ceased to exist from the effective date of merger. 

State Bank of Pakistan had given its in-principle approval for SNB as the sponsor of the bank. (ArabNews)

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