Bahrain’s GFH to close acquisition of Khaleeji Commercial Bank this year

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Bahrain
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Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, GFH Financial Group (GFH) expects to complete the acquisition of Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) this year, it said in a regulatory filing.

According to GFH’s statement in the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded, the investment bank is aiming to communicate its plan and looking forward to offering a letter to the board of KHCB during the third quarter on the transaction.

“Once the firm intention is submitted, GFH anticipates the voluntary takeover offer to be concluded during the course of this year, subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory, board and shareholders approvals,” the company said. However, GFH did not reveal the total value of the transaction.

GFH, a Shariah-compliant investment bank, with over $12 billion in assets and funds under management, increased its shareholding in KHCB to more than 69 percent, earlier this year after it bought shares from Dubai-based Shuaa Capital and the Goldilocks Fund, which is managed by a Shuaa subsidiary.

GFH bought Shuaa Capital’s direct 3.8 percent stake in KHCB and its 9.76 percent indirect shareholding from the Goldilocks fund, managed by SHUAA’s subsidiary SHUAA GMC Limited, equal to over 87 million shares. Before the deal, the investment bank owned a 55.41 percent stake in KHCB and it paid more than $23.3 million for Shuaa’s combined shareholding.

Currently, the banks in the GCC region are looking to merge or take over other financial institutions to gain scale and expand their footprint as regional economies emerge from the pandemic-driven economic slowdown.

GFH more than doubled its net profit for the second quarter of 2021, driven by growth across its business units despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Bahrain’s NBB initiates digital banking challenge for youth


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