NBAD to swallow First Gulf Bank and become giant

Merger1The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) says it will become the largest bank in its region by merging with First Gulf Bank in the first quarter of next year. Abdulhamid M Saeed, currently managing director of First Gulf Bank, is in line to become chief executive of the merged company, which will retain the name NBAD, once the merger is complete. The combined business will have assets of $175 billion and a presence in 19 markets outside its home country, the UAE, according to a letter to partners signed by Alex Thursby, NBAD's chief executive. He wrote, "our combined size, diversified assets and superior technology will provide a competitive advantage to lead the industry in the new banking environment of more stringent regulation, digitalisation and demand for personalised services". Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, First Gulf Bank's chairman, is in line to become chairman of the combined entity, with NBAD's chairman, Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, taking on the vice-chairman role. Thursby did not say what role he or First Gulf Bank's chief executive, Andre Sayegh, would play after the merger, only that they would continue in their positions until then. Commentators said the merged business would realise significant cost savings that would put pressure on other banks in the region to consolidate. ©2016 funds global mena

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