Bahrain’s Bank ABC in early talks to acquire Lebanese Blom Bank operations in Egypt

Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) has confirmed that it’s engaged in talks to attain the Egyptian business of Blom Bank, saying in a statement that the negotiations are still at early stages.

“Such discussions are at a preliminary stage, but there is no certainty that any transaction will be completed,” the bank said.

News that Bank ABC is interested in Blom’s assets was first reported late last month. It then emerged that Bank ABC has asked the CBE for a green light to start the due diligence process.

The Bahraini bank is competing with fellow GCC lender Emirates NBD, which is now doing DD and could reportedly value Blom’s Egypt arm at $ 250-300 million.

Blom confirmed earlier this month it is looking to sell its Egypt assets as its home country suffers its worst economic crisis in decades. Both Reuters and local media report that Blom has hired CI Capital to advise on the sale.

Another Lebanese bank, Bank Audi, is also eyeing an exit from Egypt, and could soon revive talks with First Abu Dhabi Bank, a frontrunner in its potential takeover.