Middle East

2 Abu Dhabi banks to merge into largest Gulf Arab bank

Stockholders at two Abu Dhabi banks have agreed to a plan to merge the firms, which would create the biggest bank in the Gulf.

Shareholders at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank voted Wednesday to approve the tie-up.

Under terms of the deal, the combined company will be known as NBAD.

Moody's has said the merger would make the new NBAD the largest bank across Gulf Arab nations, with some $170 billion in assets.

Earlier Wednesday, NBAD acknowledged it had financed a loan of $2 billion ahead of finalizing the merger, which officials hope will conclude in the first quarter of next year.

Stock in NBAD rose 2.8 percent to close at 9.89 dirhams ($2.69). FGB shares rose 5.4 percent to close at 12.65 dirhams ($3.44).