According to the wall street journal, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC said they’re in talks to merge in a deal that would create the largest lender by assets in the Middle East.
A working group of senior executives from each bank is reviewing the commercial, structural and legal aspects of a potential transaction, according to a filing to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange on Sunday. Bloomberg News was first to report the two banks were considering a potential merger on June 16.
A deal would create a lender with assets of about $170 billion and mark the first major banking merger in the United Arab Emirates’ since National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International combined to create Emirates NBD PJSC in 2007. The country’s fragmented banking industry is ready for further consolidation and a deal could prompt further mergers among lenders, according to investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding SAE.