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Wed 29 Oct 2008 09:46 AM

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NBAD would welcome merger - CEO

Tomalin says management of Abu Dhabi's largest bank in favour, but decision up to gov't.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) would welcome a merger, but any decision is up to the lender's owners and not management, its CEO said on Wednesday."To compete effectively in a more globalised world, the UAE and Abu Dhabi will need larger banks," Michael Tomalin told newswire Bloomberg in an interview.

"The management's view is that we need to be bigger to compete effectively on the global stage."

Faced with growing competition from global players, banks in the Gulf are looking at consolidation to help them better compete and diversify revenues.

There has been speculation NBAD, the emirate's largest bank by assets, could join forces with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) ever since Dubai government gave the go-ahead for the $11.3 billion merger between Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Dubai (NBD) earlier this year to form Emirates NBD.

Speculation grew when the Al Khaleej Arabic daily in September reported three mergers among major UAE banks and real estate firms were close to being finalised.

The news sent the shares of both lenders soaring despite executives from both companies denying a merger was on the cards.

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