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Wed 15 Dec 2010 02:28 PM

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Bahrain’s ABC takes 49% stake in Libyan bank

Arab Banking Corporation to close deal in first quarter of 2011, marks bid to expand presence in Libya

Bahrain’s ABC takes 49% stake in Libyan bank
In return for its 49 percent stake, ABC will inject LYD74m (about $59.55m) into Mediterranean Bank, the lender said

Arab
Banking Corporation (ABC), Bahrain's second largest bank, has agreed to buy a
49 percent stake in Libya’s Mediterranean Bank.

The
deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011 subject to regulatory
approval, the bank said Wednesday in a statement.

The
Central Bank of Libya earlier this month became a majority shareholder in ABC
with 59.37 percent of its stock, after buying Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s
17.7 percent stake.

The
Kuwait Investment Authority holds an additional 29.69 percent share.

In
return for its 49 percent stake, ABC will inject LYD74m (about $59.55m) into Mediterranean
Bank, the lender said.

The
bank is seeking to expand its presence in Libya, said Hassan Ali Juma,
president and CEO.

"The
acquisition by ABC of a 49 percent shareholding in Mediterranean Bank
represents a unique opportunity to cement the geographic reach of ABC's
existing North African businesses, which already include operations in Egypt,
Tunisia and Algeria,” he said in a statement.

ABC
had assets worth $26bn on its balance sheet at the end of the third quarter.
The lender’s net profits for the first nine months of 2010 rose 1.8 percent to
$112m.

Listed
on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, ABC is represented in 22 countries. In November,
it launched operations in Moscow, making it the first Arab bank to have a
presence in Russia.

 

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