Lebanon Businessnews News

Banque Pharaon
and Chiha deal still on
Banking experience is the stumbling block
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Press reports that the Central Bank (BDL) has rejected the sale of 80 percent of Banque Pharaon and Chiha’s shares to Raymond and Teddy Rahme of the ZR Group Holding are premature, according to a source close to the deal.

“The BDL prefers that a bank to be purchased by another bank. In the case of Banque Pharaon and Chiha, BDL said that the Rahme family should guarantee the presence of at least three bankers, who are available,” the source said.

Ghassan Mehanna, a banker, will remain as general manager and Marwan Iskandar, also a banker, as a board member, in addition to a third banker, according to the source. “Not all bank shareholders are necessarily bankers,” the source said.

The deal is still subject to approval by the BDL, which usually takes two months from the date of signing of the agreement, which took place on October 4, 2014.

News was published in some media yesterday reporting that the BDL has rejected the deal since the two Rahme brothers lack banking experience. “The deadline approval by the BDL did not end yet. No rejection of the deal can be confirmed,” the source said.

ZR Group Holding is a Beirut-based multinational company active in banking and finance, media, IT and telecom, aviation, trade and commerce, transportation, catering, logistics and support, and real estate.

Banque Pharaon and Chiha is one of the oldest local banks, consisting of a head office and five branches.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Nov 06, 2014
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