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Thu 13 Dec 2012 11:37 AM

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QNB buys 77% of SocGen Egypt unit for $1.98bn

Qatar SWF-backed QNB will also take stakes in some subsidiaries as part of deal

QNB buys 77% of SocGen Egypt unit for $1.98bn

Qatar National Bank Group has acquired a 77 percent in Societe Generale’s Egyptian unit National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB) for US$1.98bn.

QNB, part-owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, will also buy Societe Generale’s stakes in some NSGB subsidiaries, taking the French bank’s total consideration to US$2bn.

“This transaction is in line with QNB Group’s international strategy, which has become an integral part of our growth and commitment to diversify revenue sources,” Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, CEO of QNB, said in a statement.

“The Egyptian financial sector represents a significant growth opportunity with its combination of growth potential, increased future penetration of banking services, young and dynamic population to be served and the core links of Egypt within the Middle East and North Africa,” he added.

QNB, which has a market value of around US$26bn, has been ramping up its regional footprint through acquisitions.

The lender, which last week raised US$1bn in a bond issue, has increased its stake in Commercial Bank International to 39.9 percent from 16.5 percent recently. It has also increased its stake in Iraq’s Mansour Bank and acquired a 49 percent stake in Libya's Bank of Commerce and Development.

The NSGB transaction is QNB Group’s largest acquisition to date. The Egypt-based bank, founded in 1978, is one of the country’s largest banks with assets of around US$10.4bn.

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