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Sun 1 Apr 2007 12:41 PM

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IT departments in the balance after merger

It is too early to talk about the future of the different IT infrastructures that the proposed merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD).

It is too early to talk about the future of the different IT infrastructures that the proposed merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD).

But the merger should not lead to any job cuts, said EBI chairman H.E. Ahmed Al Tayer.

The merger timeframe has yet to be resolved, he said. "We want to move things as fast as possible, but I cannot put a timeframe."

Last month's surprise news of the merger, which will create the region's largest bank with assets of US$45billion, has left little time to work out integration details, executives were keen to stress.

EBI employs an estimated 5,000 people, including 200 staff in its IT department. IT systems deployed include various modules of Oracle's E-Business Suite, Fin Misys as its core banking system and Reuters software as its treasury system.

NBD has also previously deployed Oracle's E-Business suite. Both banks are also among the first corporate customers for the BlackBerry mobile device in the region. NBD employs 1,450 staff.

Successfully integrating IT systems can be crucial in such mergers, Gartner analyst Dave Aron said. The approach organisations take to integration can determine how much impact it has on staff, he said. An "absorption" approach would see one bank's systems used to run both operations.

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