Arab bank to take stake in AWB

05 April 2002

An as yet unidentified Arab bank has signed a preliminary agreement to take a 40 per cent stake in Al-Watany Bank of Egypt (AWB), as part of the Cairo-based bank's capital increase, approved at the 21 March annual general meeting.

The number of shares in the bank will be increased by 20 million to 45 million, bringing capital up to £E 315 million ($68 million). The Arab bank will purchase 16 million of the new shares, and is expected to buy a further 2 million free-floating shares to bring its stake up to 40 per cent. A further 4 million shares will take the form of a rights issue at par of £E 7 ($1.5).

News of the capital increase pushed the bank's share price up. AWB was trading at the end of March at just over £E 20 ($4.3).

The general meeting also approved a board decision to transfer £E 10 million ($2.2 million) from the announced net profit for 2001 to bolster reserves. This move brings down the net profit for the year to £E 97.8 million ($21.2 million - MEED 1:3:02). The bank's assets at the end of 2001 were £E 5,597 million ($1,217 million).

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