Emirates NBD Denies Talks on Merger of Emirates Islamic Unit, Dubai Bank

Emirates NBD PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, is not holding any talks about merging its Emirates Islamic Bank PJSC unit with Dubai Bank PJSC, Chief Executive Officer Rick Pudner said.

“The reports in the press regarding the completion of these technical examinations, evaluations are not accurate,” Pudner said on an earnings conference call from Dubai today. “I would just like to confirm that there are currently no talks with regard to the merger or acquisition of Dubai Bank by Emirates Islamic.”

Al Khaleej reported Oct. 24 that Emirates Islamic and Dubai Bank have reached a preliminary agreement on the merger of the two Shariah-compliant lenders, citing people it didn’t identify. The due diligence process is complete and the final agreement will be made in three weeks, the newspaper said. Emirates Islamic may buy Dubai Bank and purchase mortgage company Amlak Finance PJSC once the acquisition is complete, Arabic daily Al Ittihad said Oct. 3, citing unidentified people.

Emirates NBD, 56 percent owned by the Dubai government, holds 99.9 percent of Emirates Islamic Bank. Dubai Bank is owned by Dubai Banking Group PJSC, in which a unit of Dubai Holding LLC has a 70 percent stake and Emaar Properties PJSC the rest.

Dubai Holding, a company controlled by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and its units owe banks $12 billion and have begun talks to roll over some of the loans, a person with knowledge of the matter said May 10. Emirates NBD is one of the biggest lenders to state-owned Dubai World, which reached an agreement with creditors in September on altering the terms on $24.9 billion of loans.

To contact the reporters on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at Eevans3@bloomberg.net

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