Abu Dhabi bank completes $164m deal for Dubai First

First Gulf Bank says completes acquisition of credit card business of investment firm Dubai Group
Abu Dhabi bank completes $164m deal for Dubai First
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 08 Nov 2013 10:21 AM

Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank (FGB) has announced the completion of its acquisition of Dubai First, the credit card business of investment firm Dubai Group.

The bank said the acquisition was part of its expansion strategy of "developing existing businesses and offering more value to an expanding UAE customer base".

FGB, the second largest bank in the United Arab Emirates by market capitalisation, said previously that the deal was worth $164m.

The sale is part of Dubai Group's efforts to cut down its debt pile, most of which was accumulated during the boom years of the mid-2000s.

Dubai Group is a unit of Dubai Holding, the investment arm of the ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Andre Sayegh, CEO of First Gulf Bank, said: “Dubai First offers great synergy with the FGB business. It supports our customer centric strategy and will create an integrated platform for developing exciting, new products in the future.”

Hana Al Rostamani will lead the newly constituted board of directors as chairman.

She said: “We are committed to meeting our consumers and stakeholders goals through our strong financial product offering. As such, we will ensure that Dubai First customers retain their overall experience in addition to the relationship and network benefits of FGB’s operation.”

FGB is among Gulf Arab banks seeking to expand its regional footprint and looking for acquisition opportunities. In May, it hired Simon Penney, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland's Middle East and Africa business, to head its wholesale banking business.

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