Middle East Lenders Add Muscle With $8 Billion in Takeover Deals

(Bloomberg) -- The top ranks of Middle East banking is changing. In the past week alone, lenders in Saudi Arabia and Dubai have agreed to takeover deals worth just over $8 billion.

Saudi British Bank’s $5 billion all-stock deal to acquire Alawwal Bank last week will catapult the HSBC Holdings Plc-backed institution into one of the region’s top 10 lenders.

Emirates NBD’s will add $37 billion of assets with the acquisition of Denizbank AS in Turkey. That narrows its gap with First Abu Dhabi Bank, which itself is the result of a merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank last year.

Still, Qatar National Bank’s lead as the region’s biggest is untouched. The state-controlled lender has boosted its assets by more than 250 percent since 2010 as a government windfall from gas sales financed an acquisition spree in countries including Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Nigeria.

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