RBS says Saudi bank merger boosts its core capital

The merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank has been completed

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Sunday the completion of a merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank would lead to RBS shedding 4.7bn pounds ($5.9bn) of risk weighted assets and boost its core capital.

RBS, through Dutch subsidiary NatWest Markets N.V., was part of a consortium including NLFI and Banco Santander S.A. that held an aggregate 40 per cent equity stake in Alawwal bank, the British bank said in a statement. RBS also had an interest equivalent to a 15.3 per cent stake in Alawwal bank.

RBS said that as a result of the merger completion, it would recognise an income gain on disposal of the Alawwal bank stake for shares received in Saudi British Bank of 400m pounds and a reduction in risk weighted assets of 4.7bn pounds.

RBS also said the deal would extinguish legacy liabilities of 300m pounds.

The changes would increase the bank’s CET1 core capital ratio by 60 basis points, it said.

The merger will also help RBS to focus on its target markets, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said in a statement.

RBS, which was rescued in 2008 with a 45.5bn pound capital injection by the British government, has been shrinking its overseas operations since the financial crisis to focus on its UK lending operations.