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Banque Misr in talks to sell Samba stake -report

Egypt's Banque Misr plans to sell 2 per cent Samba stake valued at $840 million.

May 23, 2011 10:50 by

State-owned Banque Misr is in talks with Saudi investors to sell its stake in Samba Financial Group, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday.

Banque Misr’s deputy chairman told the paper he had turned down offers from several Saudi businessmen to buy the bank’s 2 percent share in Samba, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest lender by market value.

“We are waiting for a higher offer to achieve returns that conform with the sale’s aim of contributing to the profitability of the bank,” Mohammad Abbas Fayed said.

The Samba stake was last valued at more than 5 billion Egyptian pounds ($840 million) four years ago, the paper said.

Fayed said the move did not mean Banque Misr was planning to scale back its presence in the Gulf, but expansion into Syria will be delayed due to political unrest there. (Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 5.954 Egyptian pounds)

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