Saudi Arabia's Alinma Bank CEO Says Open to Merger Opportunities

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s Alinma Bank would be open to a merger if a deal adds value for shareholders, its chief executive officer said.

“Mergers and acquisitions are part of a growth wave,” Abdulmohsen Al-Fares said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. “So we are working and looking at it closely. I believe in Alinma Bank we will have many opportunities.”

Saudi Arabia’s banking landscape is changing with lenders exploring mergers. The kingdom’s biggest lender, National Commercial Bank, in December announced the start of talks with Riyad Bank. The potential deal would follow the $5 billion combination of HSBC Holdings Plc affiliate Saudi British Bank and Alawwal, which was backed by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

The ongoing mergers “will be good and add value” to the Saudi Arabian economy, Al-Fares said. “Definitely we are open to anything that will add value to our shareholders. At the moment there is no dialogue whatsoever in that direction.”

Alinma Bank this week posted a 22 percent jump in first-quarter profit to 709 million riyals ($189 million), beating analyst estimates.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.