Dubai Islamic Bank hired HSBC Holdings to advise on its possible
acquisition of smaller rival Noor Bank, according to people with knowledge of
Noor Bank is working with Barclays on the deal, the people said,
asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. An acquisition
would create a lender with Dh278 billion in assets.
The Middle East’s financial-services industry is witnessing a wave
of consolidation as banks seek ways to improve competitiveness and boost
capital amid slowing economic growth. Abu Dhabi has merged three of its banks
after combining two of its biggest lenders in 2017. Banks in Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait and Bahrain are also holding merger talks.
DIB and Noor Bank declined to comment, while HSBC and Barclays did
not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Investment Corporation of Dubai, the emirate’s main state-owned
holding company, is the largest shareholder in DIB Bank with a 28 per cent
stake. It is also one of the biggest investors in Noor Bank, a lender set up in
2008. DIB had assets of Dh227bn at the end of March compared with Noor Bank’s
Dh51bn in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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