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UK's EIIB in talks with Rasmala for 30 pct stake - sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – European Islamic Investment Bank is in talks to acquire a 30 percent stake in Dubai-based Rasmala Investment Bank, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The acquisition, which is set to be completed in early 2012, will be made through a fresh issue of shares by Rasmala which EIIB will buy, the sources said.

“EIIB is working out a certain formula with Rasmala for the capital increase,” a source, who declined to be identified because the talks are private, said.

“They’ve agreed on the main terms but fine tuning some details.”

Rasmala’s Chief Executive Officer, Anwar Abu Sbaitan, declined to comment. EIIB was not immediately available for comment.

Existing shareholders in Rasmala, which includes Deutsche Bank, will be diluted by the capital increase, a separate source said.

Rasmala, which has around $900 million in assets, has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt and operates in asset management, corporate finance and institutional brokerage.

Rasmala’s chairman, Ali al Shihabi, told Reuters in November that it was in talks with one party about investing in the bank as part of a capital boost.

Earlier this year, a slump in market turnover forced Rasmala to close its UAE retail brokerage business and to focus on institutional brokerage and research, asset management and corporate finance.

Turnover and trading volumes on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi exchanges have fallen, extending a trend that started as the global financial crisis struck in 2008.

The Dubai Financial Market slumped to a seven-year low on Wednesday, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange hit its lowest level since March 2009.

Shares in EIIB, which undertakes sharia-compliant investment banking services in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, were trading flat at 1225GMT at 3.5 pounds ($5.48).

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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