Two Abu Dhabi banks vie for Barclays UAE retail ops - sources

DUBAI/ABU DHABI, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:40am EDT

DUBAI/ABU DHABI, March 19 (Reuters) - Two Abu Dhabi lenders are vying to acquire most of Barclays' retail banking operations in the United Arab Emirates, with a final decision expected next month following a highly competitive bidding process, banking sources said on Wednesday.

The lenders - Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank - are now the frontrunners to acquire the business, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information isn't public.

"Barclays is still in the process of assessing each of the bids. Our focus is to ensure we do what's best for our customers and employees," a Barclays spokesman said without elaborating.

Both ADCB and ADIB declined to comment. (Writing by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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