First Abu Dhabi Bank: Proving its worth
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First Abu Dhabi Bank: Proving its worth

The UAE’s largest bank is widely considered to have made a success of its merger and is now looking to realize its international potential.

Success stories spawn imitators. Such is the case with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the large Emirati financial institution formed bythe merger in April 2017 of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank.

Since then, a string of projected mergers and acquisitions have been announced in the Gulf, including, among others: Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank in Saudi Arabia; Kuwait Finance House and Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank; and Barwan Bank and International Bank of Qatar.

These proposed mergers reflect an urgent need for banking consolidation in the region. They are also a testament to FAB’s early success; such was its status as a test case for banking mergers in the region.

Only one year into the new bank’s existence, its chief executive Abdulhamid Saeed could say: “In a short period of time, we have successfully completed many of our key integration milestones, reinforced the financial position of the new combined bank and realized cost synergies totalling approximately Dh500 million ($136 million).”

By the end of September 2018, that early positive impression had solidified into positive results, with FAB’s profit before tax rising by an impressive 11%, to Dh9.4