Kuwait's CBK nears Syrian bank deal

Investment Dar close to finalising deal to sell its 12.5% position in Syria's Cham Bank to CBK.
Kuwait's CBK nears Syrian bank deal
By Reuters
Thu 17 Jul 2008 12:50 PM

Kuwait's Investment Dar is close to finalising a deal to sell its 12.5 percent stake in Syria's Cham Bank to Commercial Bank of Kuwait, a source at the investment firm said on Thursday.

"The deal to sell Cham shares to Commercial Bank is close to be concluded," said an official at Investment Dar, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source declined to give further details.

Commercial Bank, Kuwait's third-biggest bank by market value, said in March it planned to raise it stake in the Damascus-based lender to 30 percent as part of a regional expansion drive as it faces growing competition at home.

Commercial Bank Chairman Abdul-Majeed Al-Shatti could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Investment Dar's executive vice-president, Amr Abou El-Seoud, said in May the company - which owns half of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin - had received an offer from Commercial Bank for its stake in Cham.

Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas reported last month that Investment Dar, which operates according to Islamic law banning the payment or receipt of interest, would sell its stake for $7 million. It did not provide a source.

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