Emirates NBD Gets Key Approval for Turkey Denizbank Deal

Emirates NBD; gulf bank mergers; uae bank
A customer is seen inside an Emirates NBD PJSC bank branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Photographer: Duncan Chard/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Emirates NBD received a key regulatory approval taking Dubai’s biggest lender a step closer to completing its purchase of Turkey’s Denizbank, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Emirates NBD got approval from the United Arab Emirates central bank, but still needs Turkey’s banking regulator to approve before the acquisition from Russia’s Sberbank PJSC can be completed, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Denizbank declined to comment. Sberbank’s press office didn’t respond to requests for comment. The U.A.E.’s central bank didn’t immediately respond to an email and calls seeking comment.

Emirates NBD signed a new deal in April to buy Sberbank’s wholly-owned Turkish unit that could save the Dubai-based lender as much as $700 million. The revised price tag of 15.48 billion lira ($2.7 billion) reflected a slump in the lira last year amid slowing economic growth in the country.

The deal is both Turkey’s largest M&A deal since 2012 and the Dubai bank’s biggest acquisition. The deal had been expected to close in the first half.

— With assistance from Asli Kandemir and Zainab Fattah.

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