Three Bahrain-based Islamic banks which merged in January have been re-branded as Ibdar Bank.
Elaf Bank, Capivest and Capital Management House said that the new bank had US$300 million of paid-up capital, $329m in equity, and an asset base of $360m on its balance sheet.
After nearly a year of negotiations with the Bahraini authorities as well as a period of consolidation and integration, the bank said that it planned to engage in the private equity, capital markets and real estate sectors and expand in the GCC, North Africa and South East Asia.
“We see great potential for Ibdar and with significantly enhanced investment and underwriting capacity, the bank is well positioned to undertake substantial and high-quality deals and to more effectively participate in the capital markets,” said Ibdar’s chairman Paul Mercer. “With a thorough integration now behind us, we are fully focused on re-engaging with the markets.”
Driven by difficulties arising as the economy stagnated last year amid prolonged political unrest stemming from the Arab Spring and intense competition from the UAE and Qatar, Bahrain has been the most active market for bank mergers in the region.
In September Al Salam Bank announced it had agreed to merge with BMI Bank through a share swap and in June Bank Al Khair and Khaleeji Commercial Bank announced they had formed a steering committee to consider a merger.