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French Version


Emirates Lebanon Bank seeks approval for acquisition of local BNPI activities

Emirates Lebanon Bank , a fully owned subsidiary of UAE-based Bank of Sharjah, has filed for regulatory approval from the Central Bank to acquire the activities of the Lebanese branch of Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale (BNPI), Bank Audi's Weekly Monitor said on Tuesday.

No details were available on the value of the acquisition.

Following the deal, Bank of Sharjah would own 81 percent of Emirates Lebanon Bank, while BNP Paribas would retain 19 percent, according to a BNP Paribas statement. Furthermore, 30 percent of the capital of Emirates Lebanon Bank would be offered to a selected group of Gulf and Lebanese private investors at a later stage, subject to regulatory approval, according to Emirates Lebanon Bank.

Bank of Sharjah acquired last year all the outstanding shares of Banque de la Bekaa from Fransabank in a $25 million deal. Earlier this year, Banque de la Bekaa was granted approval by the Central Bank to be renamed Emirates Lebanon Bank. Established in 1973, Bank of Sharjah offers corporate banking and investment banking activities its Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Al-Ain regional branches.

Present in Lebanon since 1944, the Lebanese branch of BNPI, a fully owned subsidiary of France's BNP Paribas, engages in commercial banking activities through a network of five branches. BNP Paribas is one of the world leaders in global banking and financial services. The group is present in over 85 countries, and employs a staff of more than 168,000 people.

The Lebanese branch of BNPI declared net profits of $17.9 million in 2007, up by 19.1 percent from $15 million in 2006. Total assets reached $835.2 million at year-end 2007, down from $847.1 million at year-end 2006.

Loans to customers increased by 7.9 percent in 2007 to $357.5 million, while customer deposits declined by 5.7 percent to $668.8 million. Shareholders' equity increased by 10.9 percent to reach $58.4 million at year-end 2007.

Beirut 02-07-2008
Redaction
The Daily Star



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