ADCB’s chairman, CEO to fill top positions in new Abu Dhabi merged bank – sources

The three-way merger with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank could form a bank with around $113bn in assets

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s chairman and chief executive will fill the top positions within the company to be created after the merger with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank, three sources aware of the merger said.

ADCB is the largest bank within the three-way tie-up, which could form a bank with around $113bn in assets and become the third largest lender in the UAE after First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD.

Eissa Mohamed al Suwaidi, chairman of ADCB, will take the same post at the new bank, with Ala’a Eraiqat, ADCB’s chief executive, assuming the role of CEO, the sources said. Both have been in their current positions for roughly a decade.

ADCB and UNB both said in a bourse statement last week that they had called board meetings for Tuesday, January 29 to discuss an update on the potential merger. Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), a government investment arm, is the majority shareholder in ADCB and UNB, both listed in Abu Dhabi. Unlisted Al Hilal is wholly-owned by ADIC, which is now part of Mubadala Investment Company.

Mubadala declined to comment.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has been reshaping its economy and consolidating state-owned companies to cope with lower oil prices.

The sources said at least 500 jobs could be cut as part of the merger, the second bank tie-up in Abu Dhabi in recent years as part of a wave of consolidation. One of the sources said UNB and Al Hilal could feel the bulk of the job cuts.

In total, the banks had around 8,600 staff as of the end of 2017, according to bank data.

An ADCB spokesman declined to comment.

Two of the sources said a planned update on the merger plan, which was initially announced in September 2018, had been delayed in part because UNB wasn’t happy with the valuation. UNB spokespeople could not be reached for comment.

UNB said on Monday its chief executive Mohammed Nasr Abdeen was retiring from the date of its upcoming annual meeting, and that the bank’s deputy CEO Ajay Bhuptani will be appointed as acting chief executive until further notice.