January 17, 2019 / 8:49 AM / a month ago

Saudi's NCB set to pick JPMorgan to advise on bank merger talks: sources

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender, National Commercial Bank 1180.SE, is set to pick JPMorgan (JPM.N) to advise on its merger talks with smaller rival Riyad Bank 1010.SE, several sources familiar with the matter said.

NCB, the kingdom’s biggest lender by assets, and Riyad Bank said in December they have begun preliminary discussions to merge, in a move that would further extend NCB’s lead over its closest rivals by boosting its assets by almost a third to $183 billion).

NCB was not immediately available to comment, while JPMorgan declined to comment. Reuters reported on Monday that Riyad Bank has chosen Goldman Sachs (GS.N) for an advisory role.

JPMorgan’s selection is subject to ratification by NCB’s board, the sources said.

Additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Tom Arnold and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Alexander Smith

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