Standard Chartered Lebanon to sell its retail operations
Many banks are interested in the deal
The UK-based Standard Chartered is seeking to sell its retail operations in Lebanon and to focus on its wholesale and financial service business.
“The decision is part of the Standard Chartered Group’s global strategy to enhance its presence in markets with the highest potential for growth,” said a source at Standard Chartered Lebanon. “The bank would continue to meet the needs of financial institutions, in addition to corporations that are looking to benefit from our footprint and experience in Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world.”
Some market news have recently reported that many banks are interested in purchasing Standard’s retail operations, among them is Cedrus Invest Bank, a local investment bank founded by Ghassan Ayache, offering financial services. However, Cedrus Invest did not confirm nor deny this claim, saying only that “this deal is still in the bidding process and we can’t reveal any information in this regard currently.”
Standard Chartered Lebanon’s source said that “the bank does not have specific information on whether the buyer is an investment bank or financial institution, local or foreign. The main purpose is to guarantee the continuity of our employees and business in the country.” However, the source said that “We are currently reviewing the option to divest our Consumer Banking business in Lebanon. No final decisions have been made yet”.
Standard Chartered Lebanon operates through its main office and branch in Dbayeh, in addition to two branches in Verdun and Ashrafieh. It has 120 employees.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Dec 11, 2013