By Eman Goma
Bahraini lender invests $53.8m in the stake of United Bank for Commerce & Inv't.
Bahrain's Ahli United Bank said it has acquired a 40 percent stake in Libya's United Bank for Commerce & Investment (UBCI) through a capital hike.
The Bahraini lender has invested $53.8m in the acquisition, AUB said in a statement on the Bahraini bourse website on Tuesday.
UBCI's capital has been increased from 33.3 million Libyan dinars ($26.47 million) to 80 million Libyan dinars, 60 percent of which is owned by Libyan shareholders, and the remaining is the Bahraini lender's share, AUB said.
"The general assembly of (UBCI) has unanimously approved the capital hike through issuing new shares and allocating them completely to (AUB) as a strategic partner," AUB said in a separate statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website on Tuesday. Last month, AUB received the approval of each of the central banks of Bahrain and Libya for the deal.
UBCI was founded in 2007 through the merger of three national banks in Libya, according to the bank's website. Libya has experienced a boom in foreign investment since it renounced banned weapons programmes and emerged from decades of international isolation.(Reuters)