First Abu Dhabi Bank withdraws offer for Egypt's EFG Hermes

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First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, has withdrawn its offer to buy a controlling stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes, it said on Thursday.

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“After careful consideration and in the context of ongoing global market uncertainty and volatile macroeconomic conditions, First Abu Dhabi Bank has decided to withdraw its non-binding offer submitted on 9 February 2022,” FAB said in a statement.

FAB in February made a non-binding offer to buy at least 51 percent of EFG Hermes for 19 Egyptian pounds ($1.21) per share, valuing Egypt’s biggest investment bank at nearly $1.2 billion.

Egypt has been on the hunt for foreign exchange since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted investors to pull billions of dollars out of its treasury markets, leading the central bank to devalue the currency by 14 percent on March 21.

FAB already owns banking licenses in Egypt - its own subsidiary and the Egyptian unit of Lebanon’s Bank Audi, which it acquired last year.

The deal with EFG Hermes would have given the UAE’s biggest lender access to the Egyptian investment bank’s strong franchise in the Middle East and North Africa region.

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