International Finance

Commercial Bank of Dubai denies M&A reports, to stick to current strategy

Earlier media reports had said that the Al Futtaim Group which holds 10.5% in the bank was encouraging an M&A strategy

The Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has denied reports that it was considering mergers and acquisitions in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market. The Dubai bank said that it is committed to its current growth strategy.

“The board of Commercial Bank of Dubai would like to clarify that there are no discussions whatsoever concerning mergers, acquisitions or activities of a similar nature,” the Commercial Bank of Dubai’s statement to the Dubai Financial Market said.

“Board and management are fully committed to successful execution of the approved strategy, which has resulted in strong results over 2018 and the first quarter of this year,” the statement added.

The statement followed media reports that the Al-Futtaim Group which owns 10.5 percent of the bank was considering either a sale of its stake in the bank or encouraging a merger of the Commercial Bank of Dubai with another bank.

The international media have reported that up to 20 Gulf financial institutions with combined assets of $1 trillion were considering mergers and acquisitions. GCC banks have seen a wave of M&As over the past two years.

However, the global ratings agency S&P Global ratings had said recently that the cycle of M&As at the leading Gulf banks is facing a wind down. The agency cited the fact that the pool of banks with common major shareholders is shrinking as the reason for the ending of the M&A cycle.

S&P, however, added that a new wave of M&As motivated by purely economic reasons could still take place in the Gulf region. The cycle of M&As would then be longer as it would take time to convince boards and shareholders.

Abdulla Hamad Al Futtaim, the chairman of the Al Futtaim Group holding company, holds around 7 percent of Commercial Bank of Dubai shares according to data with the Dubai stock exchange.



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