Qatar’s reg­u­la­tor hope­ful of merger of 3 Is­lamic banks

Banking Frontiers - - News | Banking In The Gulf -

Qatar Cen­tral Bank is hope­ful that the planned three-way merger of Is­lamic banks in the coun­try could be­come a re­al­ity in 2018. The cen­tral bank’s gov­er­nor Sheikh Ab­dul­lah bin Saud al-Thani said he is hope­ful the planned merger be­tween Mas­raf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank and In­ter­na­tional Bank of Qatar would pro­ceed as planned. He, how­ever, said a suc­cess­ful deal would de­pend on other fac­tors, such as share­holder sup­port, and the cen­tral bank was wait­ing for a re­port by fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers be­fore act­ing on the merger. The 3 banks have been dis­cussing on the merger, though they missed an end-2017 tar­get date to com­plete the pro­posed deal. Sheikh Ab­dul­lah said a suc­cess­ful merger will cre­ate a solid lender with more than 180 bil­lion riyals of as­sets. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), which was cre­ated through the merger of Na­tional Bank of Abu Dhabi and Frist Gulf Bank, com­pleted its first year of op­er­a­tions with a new op­er­at­ing model. The bank’s group CEO Ab­dul Hamid Saeed said in a short pe­riod of time the bank has suc­cess­fully com­pleted many of its key in­te­gra­tion mile­stones, re­in­forced the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the new com­bined bank and re­al­ized cost syn­er­gies to­tal­ing ap­prox­i­mately Dh500 mil­lion. Among the bank’s key achieve­ments in its first year of op­er­a­tions were the com­ple­tion of its new op­er­at­ing model, ra­tio­nal­iza­tion of its net­work, the chan­nel re­brand across cus­tomer and dig­i­tal touch-points and the har­mo­niza­tion of the group’s poli­cies and risk frame­work.

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