National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) have confirmed talks of a merger deal that would create one of the largest banks in the Middle East.
The combined entity would have nearly $170bn in assets, surpassing Qatar National Bank that is the region’s existing largest bank by assets.
Each of the two lenders has formed a working group comprising senior executive management who would assess the commercial potential and legal and structural aspects of the merger deal.
The deal, if materialised, would be the first major merger in the region since the consolidation of National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International in 2007 that created Emirates NBD.
"On completion of the review, the Working Groups will provide their recommendations to the respective Board of Directors of each bank. At this time, there is no certainty that discussions between NBAD and FGB will result in a merger or combination," NBAD said.
NBAD has a network of 110 branches and cash offices across the UAE. It also has an international network of nearly 47 branches and offices in 16 countries across five continents.
FGB offers offers various financial services to business and consumer sectors through a network of branches across the UAE. The bank also operates from branches in Singapore and Qatar, representative offices in India, Hong Kong, UK, Seoul-Korea as well as a subsidiary in Libya.