Beltone has downplayed its plans to expand into Algeria, saying it was in preliminary discussions and does not have a year-end deadline.
Al-Mal newspaper had quoted director Aly El Tahry as saying Beltone was talking to two Algerian investors about setting up an Algerian bank with a full range of investment banking services and hoped to have it established by early 2011.
"I never said anything like that. Nothing of the kind," Tahry told Reuters by telephone. "We are in discussions with people there about expanding our operations there. There is no definition as to how we would do it."
Tahry said Beltone was interested in expanding its footprint in the Middle East and North Africa and had "initiated very preliminary discussions."
In November, Beltone set up an investment banking subsidiary in Libya after having received a brokerage license. Tahry said Beltone was also looking into establishing a presence in Kuwait and other Arab countries.
Last month, Beltone signed an agreement to complete its planned merger with Cairo-based Pioneers Holding, a transaction it hopes to complete by the end of May.