First Abu Dhabi Bank to restart talks on Bank Audi’s Egypt unit, say sources

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First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) plans to restart talks to buy the Egyptian business of Lebanon’s Bank Audi, two sources familiar with the matter said.

FAB, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, will have an internal meeting this week to decide on a way to resume negotiations and put in a final bid, said one of the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

A second source said FAB planned to restart negotiations within two weeks.

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FAB declined to comment. A spokesperson for Bank Audi said it had not been contacted by FAB regarding the matter.

FAB put talks on hold in May due to difficult market conditions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A source familiar with the matter said then that the deal was worth around $700 million.

Gulf lenders are keen to expand their market share in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country. Some Lebanese lenders are trying to sell assets to fulfil a requirement from Lebanon’s central bank to increase their equity.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender, is currently in talks to buy the Egyptian unit of Lebanon’s Blom Bank.

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