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

Islamic Finance

UAE's largest Shariah-compliant bank is about to get bigger: Dubai Islamic board to meet Nov 25 re Noor Bank acquisition


The board of Dubai Islamic Bank will meet on November 25 to discuss the acquisition of Noor Bank, it said in an exchange filing on Tuesday (Nov 19).

The United Arab Emirates' largest standalone Islamic bank in June outlined plans to acquire Shariah-compliant Noor Bank, saying the smaller institution's operations will be integrated and consolidated with DIB.

DIB said then that assets post-acquisition will reach nearly 275 billion dirhams ($75 billion). Around 80 percent of that base will come from DIB, which most recently reported 229.962 billion dirhams ($62.62 billion) in assets as at end-September.

The bank added that 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”.

UAE's oldest Islamic bank currently has operations in Kenya, Pakistan and Indonesia and holds a stake in Bank of Khartoum.

UAE currently has six standalone Islamic banks: DIB, Emirates Islamic, Noor Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, and Ajman Bank. DIB's acquisition of Noor Bank will cut that number down to five. 

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

This dipped to 19.12% in June 2019, equivalent to 565,793 million dirhams out of total banking assets of 2,958,620 million dirhams

Dubai Islamic Bank was designated by the UAE central bank in 2018 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”.

The bank posted 0.08% increase in net profit to 1.262 billion dirhams ($343.6 million) for the three months ending September 30 compared to the same quarter a year ago.

($1 = 3.6725 dirhams)

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