July 4 - General cargo carrier National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has obtained the approval of its extraordinary general assembly to merge with the fleet and operations of Vela International Marine Limited.

The meeting was attended by 59.78 percent of Bahri's shareholders, 99.9 percent of which voted in support of this agreement.

Vela International Marine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco.

Bahri ceo Saleh Al-Jasser said that the assembly's approval was the last regulatory step in finalising the merger between the two companies. He went on to explain that the merging of Vela's tankers with Bahri's would be completed within a month.

Once Bahri has finalised the receipt of Vela's entire fleet and operations, the company said that it will become the exclusive shipping carrier for the crude oil shipping services sold by Saudi Aramco to its customers on a delivered basis.

Bahri considers this "the largest merger in the history of the Saudi market".