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Kuwait Finance House studying merger with Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank

Kuwait Finance House studying merger with Ahli United Bank

Big-ticket mergers: GCC banks should consider more consolidations

Three-way bank merger in Qatar aims to close by year end -sources

DUBAI, July 18 (Reuters) – Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is looking to merge with Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank , Kuwait’s biggest Islamic lender said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming an earlier media report.1

The Gulf’s banking sector is consolidation as three years of low oil prices squeeze deposits and push up bad loans.

“The merger is currently only under study and there has been no agreement so far, and this would be a positive step if it closed with the right price,” KFH Chief Executive Mazin Al-Nahedh was quoted as saying in Kuwait’s Arabic language Al-Qabas newspaper.

In other regional bank mergers, First Abu Dhabi Bank , one of the largest banks in the Middle East and Africa, was recently created in the United Arab Emirates after a tie-up between two Abu Dhabi lenders, while mergers are under way in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Ahli United Bank is Bahrain’s largest lender and has a presence in Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Libya and the United Kingdom either directly or through affiliates, according to its website.

KFH said in the statement that it is looking at a range of alternatives to boost its profitability, adding that such decisions require approval from regulators, including the central bank.

The bank, which owns 62.2 percent of Turkey’s Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank, is restructuring some of its businesses ahead of a planned divestment by its largest shareholder, the Kuwait Investment Authority.

About Marc Mcilhone

Marc Mcilhone is ArabBrains' Editor - sourcing news and features content and overseeing the work of the site’s contributors. Marc’s work is informed by his technical background in architecture having worked for some of the UK’s leading practices on projects within the education, healthcare and housing sectors. Marc has a particular interest in how innovators are creating sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives. Please email press releases and news to: editor@arabbrains.com

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