Lebanon Businessnews News

Emirates Lebanon Bank is not for sale
Press report of buyout by Fransabank denied
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Emirates Lebanon Bank denied today that it is conducting negotiations to sell its business in Lebanon.

“The bank is not offered for sale and there are no negotiations with any Lebanese, Arab or foreign parties to sell full or part of its shares,” said Varouj Nerguizian,  the bank’s Chairman. “The bank represents a strategic expansion of the regional expansion plan set by the Bank of Sharjah,” he said. The Bank of Sharjah has a majority share at the Emirates Lebanon Bank, currently.

Press news recently reported that some banks including Fransabank and Credit Libanais are interested in purchasing Emirates Lebanon Bank. Fransabank denied being interested in this deal. “We are not looking to purchase Emirates Lebanon Bank or any other bank at this time, especially that we are finalizing our merger with Ahli International Bank that we recently acquired,” said Mansour Bteish, General Manager at Fransabank.

Fransabank fully acquired the operations of Ahli Bank International, last May, in a deal valued at more than $100 million. “We still need about four to five months to implement the merger process,” said Bteish.

Emirates Lebanon Bank was originally owned by Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale-Lebanon (BNPI), the Lebanese subsidiary of the Paris-based BNP Paribas. In 2008, BNP Paribas sold its 81 percent share to the Bank of Sharjah, while keeping 19 percent ownership. In 2010, the Bank of Sharjah sold 30 percent of Emirates Lebanon Bank to EL Capital.

In 2012, the bank increased its capital base to $260 million. The new capital structure became as follows: Bank of Sharjah 67.33 percent, EL Capital 20 percent and BNP Paribas 12.67 percent. In March 2013, Bank of Sharjah owned 80 percent and EL Capital, the balance. Emirates Lebanon Bank operates five branches locally.

Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Sep 10, 2014
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