NBAD is in talks with FGB over a possible merger. Mosab Omar / Reuters
NBAD is in talks with FGB over a possible merger. Mosab Omar / Reuters

NBAD-FGB merger could see 28% cost savings, says former Emirates NBD chief financial officer

The merger of two of Abu Dhabi’s biggest banks could lead to cost savings of as much as 28 per cent, according to a senior banker who oversaw the formation of Dubai’s largest bank nine years ago.

“When we look at domestic mergers, we typically look at revenue synergies of somewhere in the region of 6 to 12 per cent and cost synergies of somewhere in the region of 15-25 to 28 per cent,” Sanjay Uppal, who was the chief financial officer of Emirates NBD, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and FGB “should be targeting synergies somewhere close to these benchmarks.”

NBAD and FGB said on Sunday that 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 banks is reviewing the commercial, structural and legal aspects of a potential deal.

The advantage of having a merger that’s been announced “is that it allows you to plan for your synergies upfront rather than waiting for the conclusion of the legal transaction,” said Mr Uppal, who was CFO when Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai merged to form Emirates NBD in 2007. Cost savings could come from the reduction in head office space, administrative costs and branch networks, said Mr Uppal, who is now chief executive of financial consultant StraitsBridge Advisors in Singapore.

The combination of the two Abu Dhabi banks “could be taken to its conclusion in a shorter time” than the Emirates NBD deal, which took about seven months, as that set a “blueprint for future transactions,” he said.

The merger could also lead to further consolidation in the industry, especially amid lower oil prices, Mr Uppal said. “Banks shouldn’t wait until they’re forced to do something,” he said. “A proactive move would certainly help the region.”

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Afghanistan Premier League - at a glance

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium


Tue, Oct 16, 8pm: Kandahar Knights v Kabul Zwanan; Wed, Oct 17, 4pm: Balkh Legends v Nangarhar Leopards; 8pm: Kandahar Knights v Paktia Panthers; Thu, Oct 18, 4pm: Balkh Legends v Kandahar Knights; 8pm: Kabul Zwanan v Paktia Panthers; Fri, Oct 19, 8pm: First semi-final; Sat, Oct 20, 8pm: Second semi-final; Sun, Oct 21, 8pm: final


1. Balkh Legends 6 5 1 10

2. Paktia Panthers 6 4 2 8

3. Kabul Zwanan 6 3 3 6

4. Nagarhar Leopards 7 2 5 4

5. Kandahar Knights 5 1 4 2

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo

Power: 178hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 280Nm at 1,350-4,200rpm

Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch auto

Price: from Dh209,000 

On sale: now

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Manchester City 6
(D Silva 26', Sterling 38', 81', 87', De Bruyne 61', Jesus 68')

Watford 0

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends


Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope 
Defenders: John Stones, Harry Maguire, Phil Jones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Gary Cahill, Ashley Young, Danny Rose, Trent Alexander-Arnold 
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph 
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The biog

Siblings: five brothers and one sister

Education: Bachelors in Political Science at the University of Minnesota

Interests: Swimming, tennis and the gym

Favourite place: UAE

Favourite packet food on the trip: pasta primavera

What he did to pass the time during the trip: listen to audio books


Championship play-offs, second legs:

Aston Villa 0
Middlesbrough 0

(Aston Villa advance 1-0 on aggregate)

Fulham 2
Sessegnon (47'), Odoi (66')

Derby County 0

(Fulham advance 2-1 on aggregate)


Saturday, May 26, Wembley. Kick off 8pm (UAE)