Posted on April 22, 2019

Barwa Bank has announced the official completion of its legal merger with International Bank of Qatar (ibq). The merger, which brings two of Qatar’s leading and most dynamic financial players under one roof, will establish a powerhouse Shariahcompliant financial institution in both local and regional markets, backed by robust liquidity and solvency levels.

Under the first banks merger in Qatar’s history, this solid financial position will enable Barwa Bank Group to significantly contribute to the local economy, and hold both clout and capital in scaling and projectfinancing developmental initiatives aligning with the Qatar National Vision 2030.  The combined entity’s total assets are valued at more than QAR 80 billion, and its shareholders and customers equity base, a robust baseline, will enable both operational scale and the modernization of its products and services development in keeping pace with customers’ and shareholders’ growing expectations.

The merger will reshape the financial sector in Qatar by capitalizing on both banks’ complementary strengths and offerings in servicing wholesale, private and retail clients, as well as on their diversified capital markets activities – that is in addition to wealth and asset management portfolios. Barwa Bank will provide both banks customers with a diversified suite of products and services for all clientele needs, abiding by strict quality control and assurance, and powered by the latest in banking technologies and innovations. The combinedentity will operate across both bank’s current network of existing branches where staff will be providing Shariah compliant services to customers.

Themerger announcement follows the initial agreement signing between both banks in the mid of 2018, which culminated a rigorous series of approvals by both the Qatar Central Bank and other regulatory authorities, as well as by shareholders. Commenting on the merger, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman and Managing Director of Barwa Bank, said: “To say that we are proud to have completed the first banks merger in Qatar’s history would be an understatement. This merger, and the solid partnership we have found in ibq, is a momentous milestone for the local banking sector, regional mergers and acquisitions landscape, and Shariah compliant banking industry.

As we usher in our next stage of growth as a consolidated, leading Shariah compliant financial institution in Qatar and beyond, we remain deep-rooted in the local market, and committed to the empowerment of corporates and individuals in Qatar across our clientele spectrum. Equally, we will invest our collective resources, technologies, and human capital into this partnership’s role to move forward the national economy, businesses and people with pace and purpose. 

On this occasion, I wish to express on behalf of the Board of Directors our sincere thanks to His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, whose vision and measured leadership have ensured continued prosperity for the State of Qatar.  Likewise, we extend our thanks to His Excellency the Governor of the Qatar Central Bank, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al-Thani and to His Excellency Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari Minister of Commerce and Industry for their continued support and guidance through this first banks merger in Qatar. We would like to also thank His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Deputy Governor of the Qatar Central Bankand all the entities involved.”

“I would also like to express collective thanks to all our shareholders for their counsel and encouragement, to our clients and customers for their trust and loyalty, and to both banks management and staff for their hard work, professionalism and ongoing commitment into completing this landmark transaction seamlessly.”

Commenting on this major milestone, Mr. Khalid Al-Subeai, Barwa Bank’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are proud to complete this merger and we are aiming towards an accomplished integration before year end. It is not merely the sheer operational scale and robust financial standing of this consolidated venture, but rather, the combined power of both banks competitive edge and capabilities, that will fuel our next growth stage. We are confident in that this merger will multiply our efforts and push our innovative capabilities into growing our suite of products and services, and our customers and shareholders base”.

“It is with immense pride in our people, in our shareholders, and in our deep-rooted partnership with ibq that we celebrate, today, Qatar's first ever bank merger. It takes a great deal of collaboration, responsibility, synergy, and manpower to complete a landmark transaction of this magnitude. This is a national, Qatari milestone that would have been impossible without the dedication and determination of all those who have contributed to its success, be it directly or indirectly.”

From his side, Mr. Omar Bouhadiba, Managing Director at ibq, said: “We are proud to be part of the first bank merger in Qatar. It is no small feat to have brought together two of Qatar's ambitious financial institutions under one consolidated entity. We are confident that the combined entity will play an integral role in reshaping our industry at a domestic market level and is also well poised to seize the many opportunities and positive challenges that lay ahead for our industry, market, and region”.

With its legal completion made official, the next phase of the merger will focally roll out the operational consolidation of both banks into one Shariah compliant institution, slated for finalization in the last quarter of this year. Meanwhile Barwa Bank andibqwill operate as a unified entity. Upon the operational completion of the merger, which is slated before end of this year, a press release will be circulated to the media, and a press conference will be held for all stakeholders to disclose more detail around the bank's future plans and pipeline projects.