UGB yet to decide on unit sale
Manama, April 28, 2008
Bahrain's United Gulf Bank (UGB) on Monday said it had not yet decided to sell 'certain mature assets', in response to a newspaper article claiming it was close to selling its commercial lending unit.
On Sunday, Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper reported Kuwaiti lender Burgan Bank was close to buying the commercial lending activities of UGB for more than $1 billion, which would generate profit of $570 million for UGB.
'As a bank, our board is always on the look out of new business opportunities including exits of certain mature assets, but nothing has been decided yet,' UGB said in a statement on the Bahrain stock exchange Web site.
UGB said last month it was in talks to sell some of its assets, without identifying a suitor.
Burgan Bank chief executive Jonathan Lyon said earlier this month the lender wanted to acquire banks in the Middle East and Northern Africa as part of an expansion programme.
UGB shares rose 10 percent on Monday, helping support the overall index.-Reuters