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Mon 16 Jul 2007 01:22 PM

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Emirates NBD to offer 5% foreign ownership

The EBI-NBD merged bank will allow 5% of its shares to be owned by foreign nationals.

Emirates NBD, the new bank to be created through the merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD), has announced it will allow 5% foreign ownership.

The new bank has said the remaining 95% will remain with UAE nationals, a senior EBI executive told Emirates Today.

"However, it will be for the new board and the shareholders to decide if further changes are sought," Sanjay Uppal, Group Chief Financial Officer at EBI, was quoted as saying.

The Dubai government, which owns 76.62% of EBI and 14.25% of NBD, will hold a 55.35% stake in Emirates NBD.

The proposed merger of the two banks, details of which were announced last week, is set to form the GCC's biggest lender with total assets of AED165.2 billion (almost $45 billion).

The pair had assets worth $48.7 billion at the end of the first quarter, allowing Emirates NBD to surpass Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank as the Gulf's largest lender by assets.

Trading in both banks' shares was suspended on July 2 pending the announcement of merger details but resumed yesterday.

Shares of both EBI and NBD on the Dubai Financial Market are currently not open for foreign investment.

Each EBI share will be exchanged for one share in the new company, while each NBD share will be exchanged for 0.95 shares in Emirates NBD.