Kuwait KIA Sees No Conflict of Interest in KFH-AUB Merger: Qabas

(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s wealth fund, sees no conflict of interest in a potential merger between Kuwait Finance House KSCP and Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank BSC, Al Qabas newspaper reported.

Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security owns 18.7 percent of Ahli United, while the KIA holds 24.1 percent of Kuwait Finance House, according to Bloomberg data. Kuwait’s finance minister is the chairman of both the Public Institution for Social Security and the KIA.

The role of finance minister at the two institutions doesn’t constitute a conflict of interest, Al Qabas reported, citing the KIA.

Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United said in July they started talks for a potential merger that may create a lender with about $92 billion in assets. HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG are assisting the lenders with the process.

Kuwait Finance House said in 2017 that the KIA confirmed it appointed an adviser to study the feasibility of a possible merger between the banks.

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