Takaful Emarat, a Sharia-compliant insurance firm, has inked an agreement to purchase Al Hilal Takaful from Al Hilal Bank in an all cash deal.

The transaction, which has received initial approval from the UAE’s Insurance Authority, will create one the largest takaful group in the UAE, based on 2016 gross written contributions.

Takaful Emarat offers life and health takaful insurance for customers, primarily in Dubai and the northern Emirates.

Al Hilal Takaful delivers a number of insurance products for individual and corporate customers, primarily in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The combined business will be able to provide a complete range of takaful products and services across the UAE giving consumers, thereby providing better choice and expertise across an expanded distribution network.

Takaful Emarat executive board member and managing director Mohammad Al Hawari said: “This is a transformational deal for Takaful Emarat that will drive growth for the group through a wider range of takaful services and a larger customer base.

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“In parallel, we are making strong progress in developing our digital platform, which will mean a highly efficient and cost effective service for our customers. Al Hilal Takaful, a well-established and complementary business, is a very good fit for us.”

Al Hilal Bank CEO Alex Coelho said: “Al Hilal Bank will continue to focus on developing its core business as a progressive Islamic bank. Takaful Emarat is a specialist takaful provider and is therefore the most appropriate acquirer for our insurance business. We are working closely together to ensure a smooth transition for all our insurance customers.”

Acquisition of Al Hilal Takaful is pending receipt of full regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.