First Abu Dhabi Bank is a merger of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has strongly denied it is merging with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank to create the biggest lender in the Middle East.

Quoting anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that Abu Dhabi intends to combine the two banks and create a lender with $236.7 billion in assets.

The discussions are reportedly still in the early stages and are done at the shareholder level of both banking institutions.

FAB is a result of a previous merger between the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB). The new bank is now considered the UAE’s largest bank, with total assets valued more than Dh670 billion.

The bank also recorded a strong financial performance after the merger, posting a net profit of Dh12 billion for 2018, up by 10 per cent from Dh10.9 billion in 2017.

A spokesperson for FAB said the bank does not intend to go through another merger. “FAB strongly denies the report issued by Bloomberg on the potential merger between FAB and ADIB,” the spokesperson said.

“FAB currently has not entered discussions with ADIB to pursue any merger activity. Following the recent completion of our integration process, the bank is fully focused on unlocking its full potential and maximising shareholder value in 2019,” the spokesperson added.

Bloomberg reported that by combining the two organisations, a lender with $236.7 billion in assets would eventually be created, edging out Qatar National Bank, which has $235.9 billion in assets.