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Mon 22 Aug 2011 01:23 PM

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StanChart in talks to buy shares in Iraq’s Warka Bank

Negotiations with London-based bank are ongoing, says Warka official

StanChart in talks to buy shares in Iraq’s Warka Bank
Standard Chartered completed a $75m investment in Bahrains Jawad Group earlier this year

Standard Chartered is in talks to purchase shares in Baghdad-based Warka Bank for Investment and Finance, according to a Warka official.

“Yes, there are negotiations for Standard Charter to acquire shares of Warka Bank,” Hussam Abdul Kareem Khalaf, a branch manager at Warka Bank in Baghdad’s Green Zone, said in a telephone interview Monday. “We are still not sure about the percentage of shares as negotiations are still ongoing, but this is expected to take place.”

A Standard Chartered spokesman reached by telephone from Dubai declined to comment.

The bank’s private equity arm last month bought a minority stake in a Saudi Binladin Group unit for $75m and said it was scouting for fresh deals in the Gulf kingdom.

The company has invested about $3.5bn in over 65 companies throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East since 2002.

The London-based bank also completed a $75m mezzanine investment in Bahrain-based Jawad Group, in its first Gulf private equity transaction, earlier this year.

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