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KFH Bahrain to advise on merger of three Islamic banks

Kuwait Finance House's Bahraini unit will advise on the merger of three Islamic banks in the Gulf state, its chief executive said in a statement on Sunday, without naming the institutions involved.

September 26, 2011 2:06 by

KFH-Bahrain’s Chief Executive Abdul Hakim Al-Khayyat said after the potential merger, the newly created entity will have capital of $400 million and assets of $500 million.

Al-Khayyat said a likely merger will take between 6 to 9 months to complete, adding that the banks will announce their decision within a few weeks, once negotiations reach an advanced stage.

In August, Bahrain Islamic Bank and Al Salam Bank said the two banks are in merger talks to form the Gulf Arab state’s largest Islamic lender with assets of 1.7 billion dinars ($4.5 billion), according to a statement on the Bahraini bourse website.

The banks hired KPMG Fakhro as advisor after receiving approval from the central bank for their planned merger.

Consolidation in the Gulf’s financial sector have long been touted as a necessity but have seen little success in an industry frozen by unrealistic valuations and ownership limits. (Reporting by Shaheen Pasha, Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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