RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Three-way UAE merger creates $114b banking giant; Standard Chartered slapped with $40m fine

And Kazakhstan is looking for a bank to take over its second largest lender.

From CNBC: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Bank Al Hilal have announced a major three-way merger deal that will create the fifth largest lender in the MENA region with combined assets of $114b.

The new banking group is expected to have around 1 million customers, with a significant share of the UAE market: 15% share of total assets, 21% share of retail loans, and 16% of deposits.

The deal, confirmed at the close of trade on Tuesday, marks the second bank tie-up in Abu Dhabi in recent years and follows a wave of consolidation efforts in the sector.

From Reuters:  The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) on Tuesday fined Standard Chartered Plc $40m for attempting to rig transactions in foreign exchange markets between 2007 and 2013, the regulator said in a statement.

Separately, the bank said it had agreed a consent order regarding “past control failures and improper conduct” in its foreign exchange trading and sales business during the period.

From CNBC: The Kazakh authorities are urgently looking for a bank to take over no. 2 lender Tsesnabank as they believe it needs new financing to prevent a collapse, three sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Officials from the government and central bank have approached at least three other Kazakh banks and hope to tie up a deal in February, the sources said. They are offering financial incentives for any bank prepared to take it over.

The authorities want to avoid liquidating the bank, which has over $1b in retail deposits and received a $1.8b state bailout in September, because of the impact on the wider economy, the sources said.

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