Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 September 2019

Dubai investment bank Shuaa confirms merger talks with Bahrain’s GFH

Shuaa Capital confirmed that preliminary talks had occurred with Bahrain's GFH for a potential merger but that “no decision whatsoever has been reached" yet.

Shuaa Capital confirmed on Thursday it has held discussions with GFH with a view to the Bahraini Islamic investment group acquiring a majority stake in its business, capping an eventful week for the Dubai-based investment bank.

Shuaa’s shares jumped more than 2 per cent on the news in early trading, eventually closing 1.1 per cent higher at Dh1.89. GFH shares, also listed on the Dubai Financial Market, closed up 1.5 per cent at Dh2.74. In comparison, the market benchmark gained 1.2 per cent.

GFH said on Tuesday that it had held discussions with a number of companies, including Shuaa Capital, with a view to acquiring majority stakes.

Shuaa confirmed on Thursday that preliminary talks had occurred but that “no decision whatsoever has been reached”. Such discussions were in line with Shuaa’s regular pursuit of strategic expansion opportunities, it said in a stock-market statement.

Shuaa’s chairman, Jassim Alseddiqi, earlier this week told local media that the bank was considering a merger with a larger regional entity, declining to give further details.

Shuaa announced on Sunday the acquisition of Integrated Capital and Integrated Securities from Integrated Financial Group, a unit of Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), an alternative investment firm with US$5 billion in assets under management.

ADFG acquired a 48.3 per cent stake in Shuaa from Dubai Group in 2016. GFH’s largest shareholder is also ADFG.

Mr Alseddiqi, who is also ADFG’s chairman, last month set a target of increasing Shuaa’s assets under management to Dh5bn by year’s end from their current level of Dh1.8bn, rising to Dh9bn by 2020.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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Updated: March 16, 2017 04:00 AM

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