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Mon 20 May 2019 08:46 PM

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Look who's talking: the Gulf's $1trn bank merger bonanza

More than 20 Gulf financial institutions with total assets exceeding $1 trillion are in merger talks

Look who's talking: the Gulf's $1trn bank merger bonanza
The United Arab Emirates’ biggest Islamic lender said in April it’s weighing a possible acquisition of Dubai-based Noor Bank.

More than 20 Gulf financial institutions with total assets exceeding $1 trillion are in merger talks, part of an unprecedented wave of consolidation in the region’s financial industry.

Here's a rundown of who is talking to who:

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank: Talks are said to be underway in Abu Dhabi for a possible tie-up between Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank with First Abu Dhabi Bank, a merger that would create one of the Middle East’s largest lenders. FAB last month said it "currently has not entered discussions with ADIB to pursue any merger activity," while ADIB said it’s currently not studying a merger with other lenders

Combined assets: About $234 billion

National Commercial Bank and Riyad Bank: Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender at the end of 2018 said it’s starting initial talks with Riyad Bank. This deal would form the Gulf’s third-biggest lender

Combined assets: $188 billion

Emirates NBD and Denizbank: Dubai’s largest bank is buying Turkey’s Denizbank for $2.8 billion, a more favourable deal than previously agreed on due to the lira’s slump

Combined assets: About $180 billion

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Al Hilal: This three-way merger creates the fifth-biggest lender in the Gulf. The emirate already merged two of its biggest banks in 2017 to form First Abu Dhabi Bank

Combined assets: About $115 billio

Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank: A merger between the Kuwaiti and the Bahraini lenders would form the region’s sixth-biggest bank. KFH in January offered to buy Ahli United Bank in a share-swap deal

Combined assets: About $97 billion

Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank: The United Arab Emirates’ biggest Islamic lender said in April it’s weighing a possible acquisition of Dubai-based Noor Bank

Combined assets: About $76 billion

Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank: Saudi British Bank last year agreed to buy Alawwal, which is 40 percent owned by Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Saudi British Bank, a unit of HSBC Holdings, said in March it expects to complete the transaction in the first half

Combined assets: About $68 billion

Shuaa Capital and Abu Dhabi Financial Group: Dubai-based Shuaa Capital last week said a potential combination with its shareholder Abu Dhabi Financial Group is "progressing through final stages."

Combined assets: About $20 billion

Alizz Islamic Bank and Oman Arab Bank: The Omani lenders in October signed an MoU for a potential merger

Combined assets: About $8 billion

Arqaam Capital and The National Investor: Dubai-based Arqaam Capital and Abu Dhabi’s The National Investor are said to be in early discussions for a possible merger

Combined equity value: about $250 million

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