UAE banks given green light for merger

24 November 2008

Abu Dhabi's Real Estate Bank (REB) and the Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB) are set to create the biggest financial services company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after state regulators approved their merger, reports say.

UAE news service WAM reported that the ministerial council for services rubber-stamped the creation of a combined institution, to be called the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), late last night (November 23th), Reuters stated.

Both REB and EIB are state-owned. REB began its work in 1999, lending real estate credit to UAE nationals, companies and co-operatives.

EIB, meanwhile, was founded in 1982 to aid the UAE's economic growth by aiding the diversification of its industry and supporting the development of national infrastructure.

On November 24th, Mohamed Ali Albbar of Dubai's executive council said the EDB will also be backed with funding from the federal government.

"The details are being worked out but the new entity will be supported by capital and funding," he told the news service.

Over the weekend, it was also announced that REB will merge with the Islamic mortgage lenders Tamweel and Amlak Finance.

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