Qatar’s Al-Khalij Commercial Bank buys BLC subsidiary

04 November 2008
Qatar’s Al-Khalij Commercial Bank has bought BLC Bank (France), a subsidiary of Lebanon’s BLC Bank.

The deal was closed on 2 November according to a statement issued by Al-Khalij to the Doha Securities Market on 4 November.

In 2007, Al-Khalij announced it was in advanced negotiations to buy the assets of BLC Bank (France) in the UAE.

The bank has branches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

The final deal however, has been extended to include all of the bank’s operations, including its business in Paris. The value of the deal has not been revealed.

The acquisition will allow Al-Khalij to launch its services and products across the UAE.

The purchase of the Paris branch also gives Al-Kalij an EU-wide banking licence.

The Paris branch will initially be used by Al-Khalij to offer premium services to its GCC customers as well as finance and advisory support for trade and investment between France and the GCC.

BLC Bank was set up in 1950 in Beirut. Its BLC Bank (France) subsidiary was set up as an independent French corporation in 1956 and its UAE branches were opened in 1973.

BLC Bank has experienced a series of ownership changes over the past few years.

In June 2002, Lebanon’s central bank, Banque du ban, acquired 95% of BLC Bank.

In December 2005, the Qatar Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment acquired the Banque du Liban’s shares and, in May 2006, transferred them to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

In August 2007, Fransabank bought 97.52% of the capital of BLC Bank from the QIA.

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