Photo: A branch of Dubai Islamic Bank in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE on October 16, 2019. Jeff Kingma /

Islamic Finance

Dubai Islamic Bank outlines plans to acquire Noor Bank, combined assets nearly 275 bln dirhams

Dubai Islamic Bank has outlined plans to acquire Noor Bank, it said in a statement on Monday.

UAE’s biggest standalone Islamic financial institution said Shariah-compliant Noor Bank’s operations will be integrated and consolidated with DIB.

Assets post-acquisition will reach nearly 275 billion dirhams ($75 billion), said DIB.

Around 80 percent of that base will come from DIB, which held 226.5 billion dirhams ($61.7 billion) in assets on Mar 31.

As a comparison, UAE's biggest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, held 733 billion dirhams in assets in the first quarter of 2019. The bank was formed following the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank in 2017.

DIB said on Monday its “new size and scale” when combined with Noor Bank “will allow DIB to expedite its strategy to connect the dots from Far East, sub-continent, and East Africa with Dubai”.

It currently has banking operations in Kenya, Pakistan and Indonesia and holds a stake in Bank of Khartoum.

DIB's profit for the most recent full financial year, 2018, passed the 5 billion dirhams mark to reach 5.004 billion dirhams.

UAE currently has six standalone Islamic banks: DIB, Emirates Islamic, Noor Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, and Ajman Bank.

The country's standalone Shariah-compliant banks and Islamic windows of conventional banks have been steadily growing their market share, from 17.3 percent of total banking assets in 2013 to 18.9 percent in 2015 to 20.6 percent in June 2018, according to central bank data.

This market share dipped to 19.75 percent in April this year, when Islamic assets stood at 577,906 million dirhams out of the total 2,925,384 million dirhams held by all banks in the country.

DIB was last year designated by the UAE central bank as systematically important. It is the only standalone and full-fledged Islamic bank out of four financial institutions the regulator considers “too big to fail”.

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