Kuwait investors eye BBK stake

Several investors are considering buying the Commercial Bank of Kuwait's 20% stake in the Bahraini lender.
Kuwait investors eye BBK stake
By Reuters
Sat 25 Aug 2007 11:55 PM

Several Kuwaiti investors are considering buying Commercial Bank of Kuwait's stake in a Bahraini lender, an official at Zumorroda Investment Co, which is mandated to arrange the sale, said on Saturday.

Commercial Bank, Kuwait's fourth-largest lender by market value, plans to sell its stake of just over 20 % in Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) at 525 Kuwaiti fils per share, a CBK official said last week.

BBK shares closed at 510 fils on Saturday, up 2 %. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.

"We have several Kuwaiti clients in asset management that are willing to buy CBK's 20 % stake in BBK," said a senior official at Zumorroda, who declined to be identified or name the investors.

Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate Co, which is controlled by Zumorroda Investment's parent firm Zumorroda Holding, said on Saturday it was willing to sell its 3.25 % stake to Commercial Bank at the same price.

"There is a two-way offer on the table," the Zumorroda official said.

"Pearl is also willing to sell at the same price to CBK. We are now waiting for CBK's official response on whether it wants to buy or sell. We've been hearing their intention is to sell," the official said, adding that CBK has until Wednesday to make its decision.

Zumorroda Investment's shareholders include Kuwait's Gulf Bank and KIPCO Asset Management Co, neither of which are involved in the transaction, the official added.

Shares of Commercial Bank rose 2.86 % on Saturday, the biggest gainers among the 10 largest stocks.

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