Bahrain’s Khaleeji Commercial, Bank Al Khair Drop Merger Plans

Bahrain’s Khaleeji Commercial Bank and unlisted Bank Al Khair have dropped their plan to merge after failing to agree on terms. The primary reason for this decision is due to the non-agreement on the structure and the valuation of the deal. The two lenders had been in talks since June last year. The decision to call off the merger was reportedly mutual and the two banks will continue to maintain a close business relationship. Mergers in the Gulf banking sector are rare as powerful local shareholders are often unwilling to give up controlling positions except for vastly inflated valuations.