Arab Bank wins Wahda share tender
Tripoli, February 14, 2008
Jordan-based Arab Bank has won a tender to buy 19 per cent of Libya's Wahda Bank with a bid of 210 million euros ($307 million), a goverment official said. Arab Bank will also have the right eventually to raise its stake to 51 percent.
Bahrain's Arab Banking Corporation, which made the second-highest bid of 121 million euros, made the shortlist along with Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank and Italian bank
French bank Societe Generale withdrew from the shortlist. Libya's central bank said in November it was seeking a strategic partner for Wahda, which has total assets of around 1.7 billion euros and 71 branches and which it described as Libya's second-largest commercial bank in terms of total gross loans.
Many companies are looking to enter Libya, a country rich in oil and gas reserves, after a recent thawing in its ties with western governments.
Last year, France's biggest listed bank, BNP Paribas, bought a 19 per cent stake in Libya's Sahara Bank.-Reuters