First Abu Dhabi Bank pauses talks to acquire Bank Audi’s Egypt business: Sources

People use automatic teller machines (ATM) at Bank Audi in the centre of the Lebanese capital Beirut on November 19, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has put on hold discussions to acquire the Egyptian assets of Lebanon’s Bank Audi due to difficult market conditions, two sources told Reuters.

FAB, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, communicated the request a few days ago to Bank Audi, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, declining to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.

FAB and Bank Audi were not immediately available to comment.

One of the sources said the deal was worth $700 million but the timing was now not right due to the need to support the UAE economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

FAB had said in February that it would decide in the second quarter on the deal.

Lebanese banks are trying to strengthen their finances as the country endures its worst financial crisis since the civil war.

Bank Audi Egypt has grown from a three-branch operation acquired by Bank Audi in 2005 to 50 branches with total assets of $4.4 billion at the end of September.

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Last Update: Sunday, 17 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06