Trading of shares in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank were suspended on Sunday. The shares jumped last week because of renewed speculation that the Abu Dhabi government might engineer a merger between ADCB and UNB, and another between ADIB and Al Hilal Bank. Both moves would be part of an efficiency drive. There was no immediate official statement from the banks, but banking industry sources said the banks were expected to send statements denying that they had plans to merge.
UAE's Emirates Steel Industries, which controls a majority of the country's steel market with an annual output of two million tons, on Wednesday secured a $1.1 billion loan from a group of regional banks as it seeks to expand its production capacity.
The Abu Dhabi-based firm, the operator of the largest steel plant in the UAE reached a seven-year project financing agreement with a consortium of seven conventional banks and two Islamic finance institutions.
The conventional banks in the consortium are the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Union National Bank, First Gulf Bank, Bank of Baroda, Arab Banking Corporation, Al-Khaliji France and Al-Khalij Commercial Bank. The two Islamic finance institutions are the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Al-Hilal Bank.
Dubai Islamic Bank is considering raising AED 3 bn (USD 817 mn) in fresh capital and converting emergency government deposits into regulatory capital. The bank's board of directors would discuss the two measures on March 25, the bank said on Tuesday in a statement on the bourse website.
Rival banks, such as Union National Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates NBD Bank in the UAE have already launched similar moves.