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Egypt's Watany Accepts Kuwait's NBK Offer - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egypt’s AlWatany Bank said on Monday it has accepted an offer from National Bank of Kuwait at 77.01 Egyptian pounds ($11.23) per share, valuing the lender at about $1.02 billion.

“The National Bank of Kuwait was chosen,” the bank said in a statement to the Egyptian stock exchange. Chief Executive Yasser Ismail Hassan said: “The offer is for up to 100 percent of the bank.”

Shares in AlWatany bank closed 5.3 percent higher at 55.43 pounds a share.

An AlWatany spokeswoman said the second-highest bid came from the Commercial Bank of Kuwait at 75 pounds per share, followed by Greece’s EFG Eurobank at 58.30 pounds.

The statement said the board members and main shareholders “will sign the final (deal) with the National Bank of Kuwait in the few coming days.”

The Central Bank of Egypt is expected to approve the deal within a month, the statement said.

“The bid is high but you have to consider it’s one of the few remaining chances to enter the market,” said Hatem Alaa, a banking analyst at HC Brokerage in Cairo.

“This bank is free from substantial problems and its results over the past year have been impressive.”

AlWatany reported a 169 percent jump in net profit in the first half of 2007 to 146.7 million pounds.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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