Lebanon Businessnews News

Banque Pharaon and Chiha sold
Rahme (ZR Group) aims to grow the bank
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Banque Pharaon and Chiha sold 80 percent of its shares, on October 4, to Raymond and Teddy Rahme of the ZR Group Holding, a Beirut-based multinational company.

“The main purpose of the deal is to grow the bank, increase its capital and develop its business,” said a source close to the deal. “The bank is profitable and is not facing any financial problems that would interfere with this deal,” the source said.

The shares were sold by Naji Pharaon and his family. The remaining shares will stay with the bank’s other shareholders, Pierre Doumit with 14 percent for Henri Helou with five percent.

The deal is subject to approval by the Central Bank (BDL), which usually takes two months.

ZR Group Holding’s portfolio spans many industries, including banking and finance, media, IT and telecom, aviation, trade and commerce, transportation, catering, logistics and support, and real estate

The Rahme family had invested in regional markets, mainly in Iraq. “It provided catering services for 160,000 US soldiers, for three consecutive years, and purchased the third Iraqi mobile license held by Korek Telecom from Najib Sawiris for more than $1 billion in 2008,” the source said. France Telecom-Orange acquired 44 percent stake in Korek Telecom in 2011. Raymond Rahme is currently a member of the company’s board of directors.

Banque Pharaon and Chiha is one of the oldest banks in the country. Its assets reached almost $300 million at the end of 2013. Customer deposits totaled $238.5 million and loans amounted to $91.6 million. Its net profits were $4.9 million. The bank consists of a head office and five branches.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Oct 10, 2014
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