SocGen nears sale of Egypt arm to QNB
Cairo, November 12, 2012
Societe Generale is close to reaching a final agreement on selling its majority stake in its Egyptian banking arm to Qatar National Bank (QNB), sources aware of the matter said on Monday.
The Qatari bank, part-owned by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, will also make a mandatory offer to minority shareholders for the remaining 23 percent of National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), the sources said.
Both parts of the acquisition combined will value all of NSGB at about $2.6 billion, two sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.
Societe Generale declined to comment and QNB officials were not immediately available to comment.
Trade in NSGB shares was suspended on Monday pending a statement by the bank on the acquisition talks, the stock exchange said.
QNB, the Gulf state's largest lender by assets, approached SocGen early this year to buy its 77.2 percent stake in NSGB as part of plans by the Qatari bank to beef up its regional footprint.
The Egyptian unit has a stock market value of around $3.2 billion. Its shares have risen nearly 40 percent in the 10 weeks since SocGen announced it was in talks with QNB. They are up 140 percent year-to-date.
For SocGen, which recently sold its fund management unit TCW, a sale of one of its best-performing overseas assets is a way to shore up its capital base, which has been hit hard by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. - Reuters