MANAMA: Bahrain’s largest lender Ahli United Bank (AUB) has announced that two investment banks are evaluating a fair share exchange ratio for a potential merger with Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Kuwait’s biggest Islamic lender.
A bourse filing by AUB said that HSBC and Credit Suisse are currently undertaking necessary valuations studies to assist AUB and to arrive at a fair share exchange ratio.
The Bahrain-based conventional bank said that these steps are necessary to obtain regulatory approvals in Bahrain and Kuwait among other concerned countries.
Following the disclosure confirming a possible merger, HSBC and Credit Suisse were appointed to conduct the valuation, due diligence as well as other technical requirement which are a prerequisite to a possible AUB and KFH merger.
If a merger proceeds, the total assets of the two banks would be $90.57 billion, making it the sixth largest bank in the Gulf, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The major shareholders in the two lenders are Kuwait state-owned entities.
The Public Institution for Social Security owns 18.59 per cent of AUB, according to data on BHB.
The Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), is the largest shareholder in Kuwait Finance House, Thomson Reuters data shows.