Monday 03, September 2018 by Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi banks in talks to create fifth biggest Gulf lender


Discussions to combine Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and privately-held Al Hilal Bank are underway but no decision has been made.

Abu Dhabi is exploring a potential merger between three of its banks that would create a lender with about $110 billion of assets, according to people with knowledge of matter.

The potential merger would create the fifth-largest bank in the Gulf Cooperation Council, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s also part of a broader strategy by Abu Dhabi, the sheikhdom that holds about six per cent of global oil reserves, to manage its wealth following the slump in crude prices in 2014.

The emirate’s two largest lenders National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank completed a merger last year to create First Abu Dhabi Bank. A tie-up between Mubadala Investment and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council in March created a sovereign wealth fund with about $220 billion of assets.

Mubadala, which holds a majority stake in ADCB and UNB through the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, declined to comment.

ADCB also declined to comment. Al Hilal Bank and UNB did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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