HSBC to merge Saudi business with competitor

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, will merge its Saudi Arabian wholesale and investment banking business with Saudi British Bank’s SABB Securities, it said yesterday.

SABB would own 51 per cent of the new entity, to be known as HSBC Saudi Arabia, but HSBC would retain full management control, HSBC said in a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The merger is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete by the end of this year, HSBC added.

The partnership will be a full service investment bank in Saudi Arabia undertaking asset management, advisory and debt capital market activities among other services, HSBC said.

Opec member Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Gulf Arab region and several regional and international firms have set up shop in the kingdom lured by oil-driven spending and rapid economic growth.

No financial details of the transaction were provided.

Separately, HSBC Saudi Arabia has received approval from market regulator Capital Market Authority (CMA) to double its capital to 500m riyals (£83m), a bourse statement said.