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Monday, 8 August 2022

Saudi wealth fund could acquire United Bank this year, appoints advisers on transaction

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could purchase United Bank from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) before the end of the year, according to Hapi Journal. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is close to wrapping up due diligence on the bank and the acquisition is expected to be finalized by December, the newspaper reports, citing sources it says have knowledge of the matter.

Who’s advising? The PIF has reportedly appointed our friends at EFG Hermes as financial advisors and US law firm Akin Gump as legal counsel for the transaction, Hapi claims. CI Capital is reportedly acting as United Bank’s advisor.

Background: The PIF first announced its interest in acquiring the bank in May. The CBE owns 99.9% of United Bank, which it created in 2006 through the merger of smaller entities near the end of its well-regarded cleanup of the banking sector nearly two decades ago.

Part of a wave of new Saudi investment: The PIF’s play for UB comes amid a backdrop of an influx of investment from our friends in the Gulf, part of a raft of support measures to help shore up Egypt’s fiscal position amid global volatility triggered by the war in Ukraine. The fund has said it could invest USD 10 bn in a range of Egyptian sectors and last week established a company dedicated to managing its investments in Egypt. Separately, Saudi companies recently signed a series of agreements that will see them invest USD 7.7 bn in Egypt.

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