UAE's First Gulf Bank says no plans for Barclays bid

UK lender is planning to sell its retail operations in the Gulf state
UAE's First Gulf Bank says no plans for Barclays bid
By Daniel Shane
Wed 18 Sep 2013 09:44 AM

UAE lender First Gulf Bank (FGB) says it has no current plans to bid for Barclays’ retail banking operations in the country, it said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the CEO of the Gulf state’s third largest bank by market capitalisation, Andre Sayegh, was quoted by Reuters as saying FGB “may be doing due diligence” on the Barclays assets.

However, a statement issued by FGB to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Tuesday evening said that it had no current plans to bid for the Barclays operation.

The UK lender has opted to sell its retail banking business in the UAE following a review of its operations in the country, Barclays stated earlier this month.

UAE banks are widely expected to bid for the business, which includes personal lending, mortgage, credit card and deposit-taking operations.

Under CEO Antony Jenkins, Barclays is cutting 3,700 jobs worldwide, as well as reducing senior bankers’ salaries and closing certain businesses.

The sale of the UAE unit could impact up to 280 staff, a source told Reuters. Another source told the news service that Barclays was keeping its branches to service corporate customers.

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