Barwa Bank has completed legal merger with International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) to create another big Sharia compliant financial institutions in the country.

The merger, the first of its kind in Qatar, creates a combined entity with more than QAR80bn ($21.97bn) in assets.

In August last year, the two lenders signed final agreement to merge their banking operations. The combined bank will operate as Barwa Bank.

Additionally, leveraging individual strengths of the two lenders, the combined bank is expected to bolster its products and services portfolio.

The combined Barwa Bank will operate across both the lenders’ current branch network. Complete operational integration is expected happen by the fourth quarter of this year

Barwa Bank CEO Khalid Al-Subeai said; “We are proud to complete this merger and we are aiming towards an accomplished integration before year end. It is not merely the sheer operational scale and robust financial standing of this consolidated venture, but rather, the combined power of both banks competitive edge and capabilities, that will fuel our next growth stage.

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“We are confident in that this merger will multiply our efforts and push our innovative capabilities into growing our suite of products and services, and our customers and shareholders base”.

IBQmanaging director Omar Bouhadiba said: “We are proud to be part of the first bank merger in Qatar.

“It is no small feat to have brought together two of Qatar’s ambitious financial institutions under one consolidated entity.

“We are confident that the combined entity will play an integral role in reshaping our industry at a domestic market level and is also well poised to seize the many opportunities and positive challenges that lay ahead for our industry, market, and region.”