The Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges said on 19 December that it had been informed by EAB of the decision of Standard Chartered not to pursue the sale. Negotiations with the London-based bank had resumed at the end of November after being suspended in the summer. ‘In light of the economic uncertainty following the 11 September events, we concluded that it would not be appropriate to open up in a new country,’ said a Standard Chartered official. ‘It is no reflection on EAB, which is a very good bank, and in the longer term Egypt is still on the map for us.’

The EAB statement said that the majority owners – Bank of Alexandriaand American Express Bank – ‘have taken EAB off the market and will focus on building EAB’s corporate, consumer and treasury businesses’.