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Mon 23 Feb 2009 08:27 AM

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Bahrain banks in talks on possible merger

Al-Salam Bank and Bahrain Saudi Bank eye consolidation to sharpen competitive edge.

Bahrain-based banks, Al-Salam Bank Bahrain (ASBB) and Bahrain Saudi Bank (BSB), are considering a merger to consolidate their operations, it was announced on Monday.

Yousif A Taqi, director and CEO of ASBB, and Khalid Shaheen, CEO of BSB, confirmed that the two institutions were in the early stages exploring the possibility of a business combination through a share exchange with ASBB issuing shares to BSB shareholders.

The move is subject to approvals by the Boards and shareholders of both banks and regulators in Bahrain and Dubai, it was revealed.

The CEOs said in a joint statement that consolidation in the Bahrain banking sector was inevitable and as a larger financial institution the combined entity would be more competitive in the market place.

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