(Bloomberg) —


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National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest lender by assets, agreed to buy rival Samba Financial Group for $15 billion in the biggest banking takeover this year.

NCB will pay 28.45 riyals ($7.58) for each Samba share, according to a statement on Sunday, valuing it at about 55.7 billion riyals. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the biggest single shareholder in the two banks, will have the largest stake in the combined entity with 37.2%.

The new bank will have total assets of more than $220 billion, creating the Gulf region’s third-largest lender. Its $46 billion market capitalization nearly matches that of Qatar National Bank QPSC, which is still the Middle East’s biggest lender with about $268 billion of assets.

Banks in the oil-rich Gulf have been combining as regional economies suffer the twin shocks of lower energy revenues and the global coronavirus pandemic. The Saudi consolidation also coincides with a long-awaited wave of banking mergers in Europe, where lenders are exploring tie-ups or have begun taking over smaller rivals.

chart: New Pecking Order

© Bloomberg
New Pecking Order

“Under NCB’s management, better value should be realized from Samba’s over-capitalized assets,” CI Capital analysts including Sara Boutros said in a note to clients. “The deal also provides NCB with a larger capacity to grow more aggressively, particularly in the corporate space, as the market stabilizes and as lending opportunities emerge.”

Read more: Moody’s Sees Virus and Oil Shocks Speeding Up Gulf Bank Mergers

Merging two major domestic banks is a key component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” initiative to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil by creating local champions in industries such as finance. Besides the Public Investment Fund, the largest shareholders in the combined NCB-Samba entity will include the Saudi Public Pension Agency, which will own 7.4%,

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 1, 2020 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Industrial Products, including Astec Industries, Inc. ASTE, Sealed Air Corporation SEE, Berry Global Group, Inc. BERY and Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. FBHS.

Link: https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/1069217/4-promising-industrial-stocks-to-play-the-sectors-rebound

The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted the Industrial Products sector in the earlier part of the year. Factory closures worldwide owing to restrictions imposed by several governments, pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, low demand for goods and volatility in the energy market crippled the sector.

The sector logged a decline of 18.3% in earnings in the first quarter of 2020 followed by a plunge of 35.3% in the second quarter, highlighting the slowdown in industrial production amid coronavirus crisis-hit demand. The sector is anticipated to witness a decline of 26% and a 17.6% in the third quarter and the fourth quarter, respectively, per our latest Earnings Trends report.

Sector Slowly Getting Its Bearings Back

Per the Institute for Supply Management, the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) after posting readings of 50.9% in January and 50.1% in February slipped below 50 (which indicates contraction) to 49.1% in March. In April, it further contracted to 41.5% marking the lowest reading since April 2009.  However since then, the sector has slowly resumed its recovery with 43.1% in May and crossed the 50 mark in June with a 52.6% reading. It has remained above 50 for three straight months now and was 56% in August — the highest so far in 2020.

This signals that the sector seems to be coming out of the crisis, aided by gradual resumption of the global economic activities and reopening of businesses. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in August. The New Orders Index registered 67.6% growth in August, up from July’s index of 61.5%. The Production