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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Omani lenders to appoint UBS, HSBC as advisers for merger 

A potential deal could create a bank with $20 billion in combined assets, sources say

National Bank of Oman and Bank Dhofar have hired UBS and HSBC respectively as advisors for talks on a possible merger. Courtesy NBO
National Bank of Oman and Bank Dhofar have hired UBS and HSBC respectively as advisors for talks on a possible merger. Courtesy NBO

Two of Oman’s biggest lenders have hired financial advisers to help with their talks to merge and create

a bank with about $20 billion (Dh73.5bn) in assets, according to sources.

Bank Dhofar, Oman’s second-biggest bank, has appointed HSBC, while National Bank of Oman, the third-ranked lender, is working with UBS, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The appointments were made last week and it’s likely that any deal could be mostly in stock, the people said. No final decisions have been made and the talks may not lead to an agreement, the

people said.

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Read more:

Bank Dhofar and National Bank of Oman in talks for latest GCC banking merger

HSBC, RBS’s Saudi affiliates strike early merger deal

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The two Omani banks said in July that they were exploring a combination, joining other lenders in neighboring Gulf countries in consolidating operations. Abu Dhabi’s largest banks combined last year to create a $175bn powerhouse, and Saudi lenders backed by HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland are in the process of merging.

The combined entity would narrow the gap with Bank Muscat, Oman’s biggest bank with assets of about $30bn. The country’s last bank merger was completed in 2012 when HSBC combined its operations in the nation with Oman International Bank. Talks between Bank Dhofar and Bank Sohar collapsed in

2016.

Officials at Bank Dhofar, HSBC and UBS declined to comment, while NBO didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

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