Bank Dhofar
Dhofar was previously in talks to merge with National Bank of Oman. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Muscat: Oman’s Ahli Bank said it rejected an offer from Bank Dhofar for a potential merger that would have created an entity with $19 billion in assets.

The board of directors studied the non-binding proposal from the country’s second-largest lender and decided not to accept it, Ahli Bank said in a statement, without providing more details.

Earlier this week, Bank Dhofar, with $11.2 billion in assets, said it planned to submit a non-binding offer for its smaller rival, which is partly owned by Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank and has just under $8 billion in assets.

Muscat-based Bank Dhofar has attempted to merge with local rivals in the past with no success. It considered a combination with National Bank of Oman, but the lenders abandoned that deal in 2019. Talks with Bank Sohar for a potential combination collapsed in 2016 after three years of deliberations.