EFG-Hermes in talks to sell Bank Audi stake
Cairo, January 14, 2010
Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes said it was in talks to sell its stake in Lebanon's Bank Audi in a deal valued at $913 million.
Shares in EFG-Hermes, which operates across the Middle East, rose more than 5 per cent after Thursday's announcement, talk of which traders said had pushed the stock higher in recent days.
EFG-Hermes stock has jumped 18 per cent since January 4 and traded 3.7 per cent higher at 30.28 Egyptian pounds by 1020 GMT. Bank Audi shares were little changed.
The Egyptian group, which holds 28 per cent of Bank Audi, said it would make a further announcement if and when it concluded a deal to sell its 7.5 million common shares and 2.5 million GDRs at $91 per share.
No other shareholder owns more than a 9 per cent stake in the Lebanese bank, according to Bank Audi's website.
'This sale would give EFG a capital gain of almost $463 million, that's almost a 100 per cent return on the money they invested,' said Karim Hosny, a trader at Pharos Securities.
Analysts say EFG had sought and failed to integrate Bank Audi into its regional operation since buying the stake in 2006.
Executives from EFG-Hermes were either unavailable or declined to comment. Bank Audi was not available to comment.-Reuters