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Albaraka eyes $60m Indonesia deal

Manama, February 6, 2008

Bahrain Islamic lender Albaraka Banking Group said it was eyeing an Indonesian acquisition of about $60 million and a $40 million share sale in Pakistan to expand the industry's largest branch network.

Albaraka, which sold shares in a Turkish unit last year, is also on track to raise $100 million in an initial public offering in Syria this year, chief executive officer Adnan Yousif said.

"Our next target is going to be the Asian market, both the Far East as well as India," he said. Albaraka operates 90 branches in 12 countries, from South Africa to Pakistan, which Yousif says gives his bank a wider reach than any other lender that complies with Sharia law.

The Indonesian acquisition, worth between $50 million and $60 million, could be announced this month, Yousif said.

"We don't take minority interests. Either it is a majority stake, or a minority stake with a management contract," he said.

The share sale in Pakistan could be completed this year.

Albaraka hopes to sell 40 percent of a $100m subsidiary it plans to create in Pakistan to take over operations in that country from its Bahrain-based business.

"It is our intention that we want to localise our branches in Pakistan," he said.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Indonesia | acquisition | share sale | Albaraka | unit |

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