Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said here on Sunday it would buy Barclays retail banking operations in the Gulf state for 650 million Dirham or 177 million U.S. dollars.
ADIB said through the transaction, approximately 110,000 customers would leave Barclays and join ADIB. The acquisition is subject to approval by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) central bank, the bank said in a filing to the Abu Dhabi stock market ADX, on which its shares are traded.
British bank Barclays, a conventional bank which offers Islamic banking through an Islamic window, will remain in the UAE and will focus in the Gulf Arab state on investment banking, corporate banking and private banking. ADIB shares lost slight at the opening on Sunday.
ADIB is the second biggest bank in the UAE operating in line with Islamic law or Sharia. Islamic banks are not allowed to take or to give interest, nor should they invest in impermissible stocks of firms which produce alcohol, pork, entertainment or weapons.
The deal is not unusual for the fragmented UAE financial sector where 23 local banks and 28 foreign banks are licensed. In October 2010, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank bought the UAE retail banking arm from Royal Bank of Scotland.