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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Regulator approves Bank ABC’s EGP 6.7 bn Blom MTO

The Financial Regulatory Authority approved Bank ABC’s mandatory tender offer to purchase Blom Bank Egypt, bringing the Bahraini lender one step closer to acquiring the Lebanese bank’s Egypt assets, the regulator said in a statement (pdf) last week. The transaction would see the Gulf lender purchase up to 100% of Blom Egypt at EGP 22.33 a share, valuing the business at USD 427 mn (EGP 6.7 bn).

Bank ABC submitted its MTO on 13 July, and will be obliged to pay the purchase price in USD at the exchange rate stated by the CBE during the seven days preceding the FRA’s approval on the MTO. The Lebanese and Bahraini central banks approved the transaction earlier this year, but we have yet to hear anything from the Central Bank of Egypt regarding the sale.

Bank ABC reached an agreement to purchase Blom’s Egypt unit 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 through its 93% stake in Bank ABC Egypt. Blom and Bank Audi are both leaving Egypt as they cope with fallout from a severe financial crisis in their home market of Lebanon, with Bank Audi due to finish transferring its Egypt assets to First Abu Dhabi Bank next year. The National Bank of Greece (NBG) is also set to terminate its activities in the Egyptian market after years of unsuccessful attempts to divest its portfolio here.

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