UAE government, industry leaders hail completion of Emirates NBD merger

Published January 19th, 2010 - 01:30 GMT

A wide range of UAE-based government and financial services industry leaders today hailed the successful conclusion of the merger between Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai, which has led to the emergence of Emirates NBD as the Middle East’s largest bank by asset size. These comments made by leading public and private-sector decision-makers come at a time when Emirates NBD has recently begun the UAE-wide brand integration of all 110 bank branches and 650 ATMs, the largest such network in the country.

“The banking industry serves as a pillar of Dubai’s economic growth and diversification,” said His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Dubai Department of Economic Development. “Born in this great city and now the largest bank in the Middle East, Emirates NBD has long played an especially important role as a leader in this sector. As its role continues to grow from strength to strength, it will increasingly support the growth of business activity, trade and commerce, supporting the overall economic fundamentals of the national economy.” 

His Excellency Khaled Al Kamda, Director General, Community Development Authority (CDA), said: “We wish to extend our congratulations to Emirates NBD for the successful conclusion of this landmark merger process. At CDA, we are focused on enhancing social development, strengthening national identity and promoting citizens’ role in society. As a keen contributor to social development activities, Emirates NBD has long played a critical role in the betterment of UAE society.”

His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, said: “Congratulations to Emirates NBD on their landmark merger, which is one of the most significant in the history of the UAE. The bank has been an active supporter of entrepreneurship and has consistently supported small and medium enterprises in achieving their business goals. Such commitment to supporting business activity in the country is crucial to the development of the economy.”

“Emirates NBD is unequivocally today a national banking champion – providing products and services to more than 1 million customers, and contributing significantly to the growth of the local economy,” said Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Abraaj Capital. “This is a milestone for the region’s financial services sector, and we offer our congratulations to the bank and its management on this landmark announcement.”

“The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has shared a longstanding relationship with Emirates NBD,” said Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Events & Promotions Establishment. “The bank’s continuous support of the DSF for over 15 years is a sign of their commitment to some of the leading initiatives of the Government of Dubai. We are confident that this will be strengthened further in the years to come. Now as the Middle East’s largest bank, Emirates NBD’s spread of financial services creates immense appeal to a diverse range of people representing all walks of life.”

“The successful completion of the merger between Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai, during a period of global economic instability and severe financial disruption, is demonstrable evidence of the strength and resilience of the UAE’s banking sector and its ability to withstand financial shocks,” said Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist, DIFC Authority. “Further consolidation of the sector in the UAE through mergers and acquisitions is desirable, and will support the country’s economic growth and development, serving as the basis for the regional and international expansion of the UAE’s banking sector presence and export of services.

“As the global banking sector undergoes restructuring and downsizing as a result of deleveraging, we will witness increased M&A activity in the years to come – both globally and in the region,” he added. “The efficient merger of Emirates NBD has created the Middle East’s largest bank by asset size, and set a direction for the industry and the region at large.”

“The completion of the merger between two of the country’s most established banks provides additional assurance to local and internal markets of the long-term stability and competitiveness of the UAE economy,” said Faisal bin Juma Belhoul, Founder and Managing Partner, Ithmar Capital. “At Ithmar Capital, which is focused on identifying investment opportunities in this young and vibrant region, we recognise the importance of Emirates NBD, the Middle East’s largest bank, to the sustained growth and diversification of the national and regional economy.”

Ali Ibrahim, Managing Director, Emcredit, the UAE’s first government-backed credit bureau, said: “The merger has drawn upon the best attributes of both entities, creating a financially sound institution with strong strategic expertise. A bank of this magnitude will no doubt play a major role in the credit industry. Their sustained growth and continued commitment to effective risk management can positively impact the UAE retail banking market, as well as support and drive economic growth.”

These comments by UAE-based government and financial services industry leaders come at an important moment in the history of Emirates NBD, as the complete external and internal rebranding of the Emirates NBD domestic network is underway, and is expected to be concluded in just 60 days, underscoring the bank’s commitment to efficiently finalising this significant stage of the merger process. In parallel, the bank is also rebranding its international network, including branches in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

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