Blom Bank negotiating with Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corp to sell Egyptian unit

Lebanon’s Blom Bank has entered exclusive negotiations with Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) to potentially sell its unit, Blom Bank Egypt, the Lebanese bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Both parties will consequently enter into negotiations in order to reach a final agreement, however, there is no certainty that any transaction will be completed,” the statement read.

Blom Bank owns 99.42 percent of the issued share capital of Blom Bank Egypt, according to the statement.

In September, Bahrain’s ABC said it was in preliminary talks to buy Blom Bank’s Egyptian unit.

Lebanon is on the cusp of a financial crisis that has paralysed its banks, dived the local currency, and fuelled poverty and unemployment. In August, the Lebanese central bank called on banks to boost their capital by 20 percent by the end of February.

Bank ABC has a network of 28 branches in Egypt spread across major cities, including Cairo, Alexandria, Sharm El-Sheikh, and other key centres, according to its website.