Ahli Bank says no buys for now
Manama, March 24, 2009
Ahli United Bank, Bahrain's largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday that it was eyeing acquisitions outside the Gulf but would hold off from doing any deals until markets settle.
'To be realistic in the current environment, we have to wait until the dust settles down on the banking scene. Until we better understand the economic valuations of our targets,' Ahli's chief executive Adel al-Labban told reporters at a banking conference.
Ahli swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $24.4 million from profits above $70 million in the same period of 2007, as provisions and investment writeoffs weighed on the bottom line.
The bank said at the time that while 2009 would be a challenging year it also saw opportunities emerging. Labban said Ahli was looking at companies outside the Gulf Arab region but did not identify any potential targets or give a timeframe for when it would begin making acquisitions.-Reuters