CBK in talks to buy Iraq bank stakes
Kuwait, April 28, 2008
Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), the country's fourth-largest lender by market value, said on Monday it is in talks to buy a stake in an Iraqi lender and could finalise the acquisition this year.
"We are in negotiations to buy a stake from an investment company that owns a large stake," CBK Chairman Abdul-Majeed Al-Shatti said on the sidelines of an economic conference in Kuwait.
He declined to provide details or identify the seller, saying only that CBK was looking at a "very significant" stake in the Iraqi bank.
Kuwaiti investment firm Iraq Holding said in October it was in talks to sell its 20 per cent stake in Bank of Baghdad, without identifying the buyer.
Also, Bahrain's United Gulf Bank (UGB), a unit of Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco), said last month it was in talks to sell some of its assets. UGB owns a stake in Bank of Baghdad.
Shares of UGB surged 10 per cent in Bahrain. CBK closed up 4.1 per cent.-Reuters