Kuwait’s Al-Ahly Bank acquires 98.5% of Egypt’s Piraeus Bank
Al-Ahly Bank of Kuwait

CAIRO: Al-Ahly Bank of Kuwait (ABK) made a final agreement with Piraeus Bank of Greece to acquire 98.5 percent of Piraeus Bank of Egypt (PBE) in a $150 million deal, PBE announced Saturday.

The deal is to maintain the final regulatory approved from Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and Central Bank of Kuwait, which will be determined within few weeks, banking sources told Youm7.

There will be bilateral benefits from the deal; the Greek bank will receive additional liquidity worth around €200 million ($220.26 million,) while Greek Banks are increasingly concerned about liquidity drying up, Reuters quoted Greek bourse.

For the Kuwaiti part, it is looking forward to expand in the competitive domestic markets and increase its profitability.

“ABK will become the second Kuwaiti bank to operate in Egypt and that will pave the opportunity to deepen the relations between the two countries, both on the governmental and private sector levels,” Athe Kuwaiti News Agency quoted ABK said.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement, on condition of obtaining all the official approvals to acquire 98.5 percent of the PBE shares,” Youm7 quoted ABK Chief General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Michel Accad.

He added that Egyptian market is one of their top priorities, as Egypt posses growth capacities, besides the commercial and investments’ bonds between the two countries.

ABK will give the chance to the rest of the shareholders to sell their shares under the same conditions, Accad mentioned.

Piraeus Bank Group, headquartered in Athens with offices in 10 countries mainly in Southeast Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, has approximately seven million customers, with €89 billion ($98.01 billion) total assets on March 31, 2014.

Greek Piraeus Bank announced the disposal of its Egyptian operations to ABK, Financial Times (FT) reported Thursday.

In 2011, Piraeus tried to sell its 39-branch, $1.3bn-assets Egyptian operation to Standard Chartered, but that deal was miscarried by the outbreak of the 2011 revolution, according to FT.

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