Photo: Aerial view of Manama, Bahrain, in September 2013. Joshua GM /

Islamic Finance

National Bank of Bahrain makes offer to acquire Bahrain Islamic Bank

National Bank of Bahrain, which currently owns 29.06% of Bahrain Islamic Bank, has put in an offer to buy the rest of the country’s oldest Shariah-compliant bank.  

Bahrain’s biggest bank’s offer is to buy a minimum of 40.94% to take its total stake in BisB to 70%.

The deal is for either cash of 0.117 dinars per share or new shares at an exchange ratio of 0.167 NBB shares per BisB share, BisB said in a filing with Bahrain Bourse on Tuesday (November 5).

The conventional lender’s new shares offered as an alternative to the cash offer are not a Shariah-compliant investment.

Bahrain Islamic Bank is 29.06% owned by two Bahraini government institutions, 14.42% by Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank and 7.18% held by the General Council of Kuwaiti Awqaf.

If the acquisition goes through, it will add to the growing list of GCC banks’ M&A activity.

UAE banks National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank kicked it off in 2017 when they merged to form First Abu Dhabi Bank.

This was followed by the merger of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and the Shariah-compliant Al Hilal Bank in May this year to form the new ADCB Group.

In June, Dubai Islamic Bank announced plans to acquire fellow Shariah-compliant institution Noor Bank.

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