The bank says the profit increase was driven by the proceeds of the sale of a subsidiary which netted the bank £E145m.

Total assets increased to £E56bn from £E48bn at the end of 2007, a rise of 17 per cent, while net interest income increased 45 per cent to £E407m and fee income rose to £E513m, up 21 per cent.

CIB had been in talks to merge with Arab African Bank, another Egypt-based bank, since October 2007 but ended the negotiations in May 2008.