Banque Misr in talks to sell stake in Saudi's Samba

Ahram Online, Monday 23 May 2011

Deputy chairman says the bank is waiting for a suitable offer that will 'contribute to profitability'

Banque Misr is in talks with Saudi investors to sell its stake in the Samba Financial Group.

Banque Misr's deputy chairman told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that he had turned down offers from several Saudi Arabian businessmen to buy the bank's 2 per cent share in Samba, Saudi Arabia's second-largest lender by market value.

"We are waiting for a higher offer to achieve returns that conform with the sale's aim of contributing to the profitability of the bank," Mohammad Abbas Fayed said.

The Samba stake was valued at more than LE5 billion (US$840 million) four years ago, translating into SAR175 per share, when SAMBA was trading at SAR120-140 per share.

Fayed said the move did not mean Banque Misr was planning to scale back its presence in the Gulf. He added that the bank’s expansion into Syria will be delayed due to political unrest there.

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