(Adds comments from KFH chairman on assets, profit)
DUBAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Kuwait Finance House’s shareholders have approved the acquisition of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, KFH’s chairman said on Monday, stepping closer to completing the Gulf’s first major cross-border bank merger in recent years. KFH’s Chairman Hamad Abdulmohsen al-Marzouq said the merged entity would have assets of $101 billion and shareholder equity of $10.5 billion, with an annual forecast profit of $1.5 billion, based on past performance.
KFH announced its plan to take over the Bahraini lender early last year after merger talks since mid-2018.
Bank mergers have picked up pace in the region after two of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest banks linked up to create First Abu Dhabi Bank in 2018. (Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy; Writing by Saeed Azhar)