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ABC acquires stake in Libyan bank

Manama, December 14, 2010

Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) said it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 49 per cent stake in top Libyan bank, Mediterranean for 74 million Libyan Dinars ($60 million).

The acquisition, subject to final regulatory approval from Central Bank of Libya, is likely to close before the end of the first quarter of 2011, said a statement from ABC.

Once the transaction gets over, ABC can appoint three directors (out of a total of seven) to the board of Mediterranean Bank.

ABC currently undertakes a significant level of business relating to Libya, having established the first ever representative office of a foreign bank in Tripoli back in 1988.

The acquisition will help the Bahrain bank boost its existing business in North Africa, said a top official.

ABC intends to invest considerable resources in integrating Mediterranean Bank into the ABC network, drawing upon its expertise to enable the bank grow its business over the medium term, within a robust ABC Group risk management framework.

Hassan Ali Juma, president and chief executive of ABC, said 'The  acquisition by ABC of a 49 per cent shareholding in Mediterranean represents a unique opportunity to cement the geographic reach of Bahrain bank's existing North African businesses.'

The banking group, which already has operations in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, will get access to the increasingly important Libyan banking market with this deal, Juma remarked.

'Mediterranean Bank will, with the support of the ABC Group, establish itself as one of the leading banks in Libya, as the competitive landscape in Libya evolves as a result of the recent opening of the banking market to foreign capital,' he added.

The Libyan bank, which offers retail and corporate banking services, is located in Benghazi, in the North East of Libya, and with branches in Tripoli and Misurata. It was established in 1997 and operates under the supervision of the Central Bank of Libya.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: | Bahrain | Arab Banking Corporation | Libyan bank |

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