Three Bahrain-based Islamic banks that merged in January have changed their name to Ibdar Bank.

Ibdar, formed through a merger between Capital Management House, Capivest and Elaf Bank, will be active in private equity, capital markets and real estate. It has $300m in paid-up capital, $329m in equity and an asset base of $360m.

The bank is looking to pursue business in the GCC and Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, Turkey and Southeast Asia, as well as select opportunities in developed markets.

“The merger, which has already provided significant value to shareholders, has brought forth a more competitive institution with tremendous experience, industry talent and the foundations for leadership in Islamic banking,” says Paul Mercer, chairman of Ibdar Bank.

“We see great potential for Ibdar and with significantly enhanced investment and underwriting capacity, the bank is well-positioned to undertake substantial and high-quality deals and to more effectively participate in the capital markets.”

The three lenders have been in discussions about the merger since late 2011, with the Central Bank of Bahrain encouraging the talks to help strengthen smaller banks in the country, which have suffered as a result of the financial crisis.

The central bank is introducing tougher regulatory requirements and is supportive of mergers, which could help institutions create larger deals and better withstand external shocks.