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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Blom Bank is one step closer to leaving Egypt

The acquisition of Blom Bank Egypt by Bahrain’s Bank ABC will get approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in the coming weeks, Al Mal reports, citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the transaction. The two banks are expected to finalize the sale in 2Q2021, after Bahrain and Lebanon’s central banks gave the green light to the transaction in March, the source said. The sale includes Blom’s physical and non-physical assets and customer accounts, marking the first of two anticipated exits by Lebanese banks, with Bank Audi due to finish transferring its Egypt assets to First Abu Dhabi Bank next year.

Background: Bank ABC reached an agreement to purchase the 99.42% stake in Blom Egypt in January this year following several months of speculation about whether fellow GCC lender Emirates NBD would compete for the acquisition. ABC already has a presence in Egypt with Bank ABC Egypt, in which it owns a 93% stake. Blom and Bank Audi are both leaving Egypt as they cope with fallout from a severe financial crisis in their home market of Lebanon. Meanwhile, the National Bank of Greece (NBG) is set to terminate its activities in Egyptian market after years of unsuccessful attempts to divest its portfolio here.

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