Bank ABC may get only majority stake in Blom Bank’s Egyptian unit

Bahrain-based the Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) could be buying only a majority stake in Blom Bank’s Egyptian unit, local press reported on Sunday citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

Last week, the Bahraini bank  agreed to buy Blom Bank Egypt for $480 million.

Sources also said that Blom has agreed to sell its stakes in Egyptian insurers held by its subsidiary Arope Ins. Lebanon to Bank ABC. Arope has a 60 percent stake in Arope Egypt Property and Liability and an 80 percent stake in Arope Egypt Life.

The two banks agreed to start talks for the assets 18 months after the acquisition of Blom Bank Egypt is finalised.

Blom Bank is willing to offload its stakes in Arope Egypt in parallel with the sale of its Egyptian unit, but Bank ABC wants to reassess Arope’s operations after 18 months before making a decision, the sources added.

The Bahraini bank also has exclusive rights to acquire the subsidiary for the next 18 months, meaning other buyers will only be able to bid if it opts out of the transaction.