National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has acquired a 78.8% controlling stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), a commercial bank based in Manama.

NBB earlier owned 29.06% of BisB and in November 2019, the bank offered to buy a minimum of 40.94% more.

In a bourse filing, NBB stated that 93.55% of the acceptances were from institutional shareholders of BisB and the remaining 6.45% were from individual shareholders.

BisB will remain listed on Bahrain Bourse and the Islamic bank will continue to operate under its normal course of business as well as maintain its operations as a subsidiary of NBB.

The transaction is expected to strengthen both NBB and BisB brands, as well as result in asset, revenue, cost, operational and other synergies that are anticipated to improve returns.

NBB chairman Farouk Yousuf Khalil AlMoayyed said: “BisB has played a pivotal role in the development of the Islamic Banking sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain and following continuous screening opportunities we chose what we believe would strengthen our position in the industry.

Increasing our shareholding in BisB will allow us to become more effective in certain markets, especially where Sharia-compliant businesses play a vital role in.”

NBB was established in 1957 as Bahrain’s first locally owned Bank. The bank has a major share of the total domestic commercial banking market with the network of 27 branches and 92 ATMs.

NBB is owned 44.94% by private and institutional shareholders, mainly Bahrainis, 44.18% by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, which is 100% owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and 10.88% by Social Insurance Organization.