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Wed 2 Aug 2000 04:00 AM

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United Bank and Al-Ahli complete their marriage

Landmark regional banking merger complete. New entity plots way forward.

United Bank of Kuwait (UBK) and Al-Ahli Commercial Bank BSC (ACB) have formally completed their proposed merger.

The two entities, plus their subsidiaries and associates, will be incorporated in Bahrain within an offshore banking unit called Ahli United Bank BSC.

"This move is built around growth and is designed to strengthen both banks," said Mohammed Yousuf Jalal, chairman, Ahli United Bank. "The merger presents major opportunities for expansion and the generation of new jobs in Bahrain."

United Bank and Al-Ahli will continue to operate as separate entities within the holding company. Each bank will retain its own board of directors and executive management teams.

Consolidated IT Operations

Whilst retaining the identities of the two banks, the merged entity aims to achieve greater operational efficiency by consolidating the IT operations and risk management systems of UBK and ACB.

In addition to being a holding company for UBK and ACB, Ahli United Bank will also act as a focal point for what the bank describes as 'wealth management products.'

Al-Ahli Commercial Bank shares will soon be delisted from the Bahrain Stock Exchange and shares of Ahli United Bank listed from August 3.

Roughly two thirds of the new holding company's shares were given to UBK's shareholders and one third to those of ACB. Adel El Labban was appointed CEO and managing director of Ahli United Bank, and Mohammed Yousuf Jalal was made chairman.

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