“Merging relatively young banks like Barwa is easier because there will be fewer legacy issues,” one analyst says.
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Qatari banks Masraf Al Rayan QSC, Barwa Bank QSC and International Bank of Qatar QSC are in talks on a three-way merger as consolidation accelerates across the Middle East's banking industry.The potential combination would create the largest Shariah-compliant bank in Qatar and the third-largest such lender in the Middle East, with assets worth more than 160 billion riyals ($44 billion), Masraf Al Rayan said late Monday in a statement. The merger of Masraf – with a market value of about $7.3 billion – with privately held Barwa and IBQ is subject to approvals from shareholders and Qatar's Central Bank, according to the statement. Shares in Masraf rose more than 6 percent to 37.65 riyals Monday, the most since Jan. 19 .Qatar, a country of more than 2 million people, has about 20 local and international banks competing for a share of business.
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