Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is in advanced talks to acquire Egypt’s state-owned United Bank in a deal that could be worth about $600m, according to sources that talked to Bloomberg.
The PIF is expected to carry out the acquisition through the Saudi-Egyptian Investment Co that was set up earlier this year to invest in portions of Egypt’s economy.
According to the sources, an agreement may be finalised by the end of this month, though final terms are still being agreed upon. Representatives of the PIF declined to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, informed sources told Daily News Egypt that EFG-Hermes will be playing the role of financial adviser to the PIF and is conducting advanced negotiations to complete the deal by the first quarter (1Q) of 2023.
The sources added that the bank’s evaluation is about to be completed along with the PIF’s due diligence examination.
In recent statements, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the kingdom has started “investing aggressively in Egypt” and will continue “to look at investment opportunities, which is more important than deposits,” explaining that “deposits can be pulled but investments are long-lasting.”
Saudi Arabia is taking steps to provide financial support to countries in the region, as it looks to bolster allies and cement new relationships. For Egypt, the kingdom has pledged $10bn of investments in sectors such as health care, education, and agriculture.
It also already scooped up state-owned stakes in four Egyptian publicly listed companies for $1.3bn and deposited $5bn in the country’s central bank.