Bahrain’s Bank ABC starts due diligence on Blom Bank Egypt

Bahrain-based The Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) has started due diligence on Blom Bank Egyptahead of submitting an offer to acquire the Lebanese bank’s Egypt assets, according local news website Al Shorouk, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Bank ABC had signalled its interest earlier this monthafter announcing it had entered early-stage talks over the acquisition.

Blom confirmed in August it is looking to sell its Egypt assets as its home country suffers its worst economic crisis in decades.

Bank ABC is competing with fellow GCC lender Emirates NBD, which could wrap up its due diligence by early October, Al Shorouk’s sources said. Sources previously told the paper that Emirate NBD has valued Blom Egypt at 6.5-7 bn Egyptian pounds, around 1.5x the bank’s total shareholder equity.

A third yet unnamed non-banking financial services firm is also considering submitting an offer for the bank, unnamed sources said earlier this month.

Advisors: Blom has hired CI Capital to advise on the sale, while HSBC is providing financial advice to Bank ABC.