Kuwait's NBK acquires 93.77 pc of Egypt's AlWatany Bank

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KUWAIT CITY: The National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s largest bank, has acquired 93.77 percent of Egypt s AlWatany Bank in a deal worth more than $900 million, the bank and the bourse said on Monday.

In August, NBK won a competitive bid worth $516 million to control 51 percent stake of AlWatany Bank and has extended the offer to other shareholders.

After the purchase offer period has ended, NBK has now acquired 70.328 million shares, an equivalent of 93.77 percent of AlWatany Bank, NBK said in a statement.

Chief executive officer Ibrahim Dabdoub described the deal as a significant step within NBK s expansion strategy in the region.

He expected the deal would promote cooperation between Egypt and Kuwait and encourage trade and investment flows.

AlWatany Bank has 22 branches across Egypt and its assets stand at $2 billion.

The Kuwaiti lender has pursued an ambitious regional expansion strategy during the past few years and has made a number of acquisitions in several countries in the Middle East and in Turkey.

Its total assets increased to $35 billion at the end of September, while its shareholders equity stood at $4.4 billion.

Founded by Kuwait s leading merchant families in 1952 as the Gulf state s first commercial bank, NBK has one of the largest international networks among Arab banks.

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