Dubai Islamic Bank completes acquisition of Noor Bank

Lender to become one of the largest Islamic banks in the world with total assets exceeding Dh275 billion

A pedestrian checks her smartphone while passing a Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC bank branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Abu Dhabi is engineering a second bank merger in its latest attempt to stay competitive in the era of lower oil prices. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) completed its acquisition of competitor Noor Bank in a deal that will create one of the largest Islamic banks in the world, with total assets of more than Dh275 billion.

The deal has been completed through a share swap, and all of the necessary approvals have been secured from regulatory authorities, the bank said in a statement on Thursday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.

“The acquisition of Noor Bank is a landmark achievement, establishing DIB as one of the largest Islamic banks in the world and amongst the largest banking entities in the UAE,” Mohammed Al Shaibani, chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank, said in a statement.

“In line with our strategy, the completion of this deal means that we remain ideally positioned to expand our footprint in the region and beyond, in addition to supporting the UAE’s vision for growth and prosperity.”

As part of the agreement, DIB has issued 651,159,198 new shares to take its issued share capital to 7,240,744,377 shares.

It said Noor bank's operations will be completely integrated into DIB following the acquisition.

The acquisition and the ensuing integration is expected to generate significant synergies, ensuring robust profitability and returns for shareholders in the coming years, the lender added.

“The UAE is recognised as the epicentre of the Islamic economy and the completion of this acquisition will undoubtedly strengthen Dubai’s role as a global hub for Islamic finance,” said Dr Adnan Chilwan, group chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank.

“Having consistently outperformed the market in recent years, we are set to consolidate our position as one of the largest Islamic banks in the world.”

The new DIB shares have been listed and admitted to trading on the Dubai Financial Market, according to the bank.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Islamic banks in the GCC are expected to continue in 2020 as Sharia-compliant lenders look to carve out market share in an increasingly competitive environment, a senior executive of Fitch Ratings said last month.

"We've seen the trend of GCC Islamic banks M&A in 2019 and we expect that to continue next year," Bashar Al Natoor, global head of Islamic finance at Fitch Ratings, told The National in an exclusive interview in December.

Islamic banks in the Gulf will witness "mid-single-digit growth" this year due to higher government spending on strategic initiatives and healthy oil prices, S&P Global Ratings said in a report in November.