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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Saradar to acquire Near East bank
Deal pending final touches
Saradar Group is seeking to acquire a majority interest in the Swiss-owned Near East Commercial Bank (NECB) for a reported sum of $25 million. The deal, through which Saradar will own 60 percent of NECB, is currently under final negotiation at around 1.6 times book value, translating into a total valuation of about $40 million for NECB.
NECB, established in 1978, was originally part of the SNA insurance group. It was then acquired by a Swiss group in 2010. The bank describes itself as a ‘boutique commercial bank’ with activities focused on providing private banking and business banking services.
NECB’s equity amounts to $23.4 million. Its total assets stood at around $302 million at end-2011, including $277 million in customer deposits. The bank reported a Capital Adequacy Ratio of 13 percent, above the 12 percent required by Basel III.
In 2012, the bank continued to develop its Private Banking line, its SME business through its Business Banking Division, and its provision of custody services.
Reported by Hanadi Chami
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Jan 29, 2013
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