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Kuwait shareholder gets nod to lift Al Ahli Bank stake

Shareholder wants to raise stake to 15 pct; Behbehani family are main shareholders in the bank

September 20, 2011 3:03 by

Kuwaiti shareholder Mohammad Yousuf Behbehani has received central bank’s approval to raise his stake in Al Ahli Bank to 15 percent, the stock exchange said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

Behbehani currently owns a 4.9 percent stake in the lender and the approval is valid for three months, the statement said. He will be the biggest shareholder in the bank if the transaction is completed, according to bourse data.

“The Behbehani family are the main shareholders in the bank…the sale might happen through a family arrangement, or he could buy directly from the stock market,” said Naser al-Nafisi, the general manager for Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait.

Earlier this year, ABK’s deputy chief general manager told Reuters that the lender was planning to expand in Qatar in 2011 in order to capitalise on opportunities in the Gulf Arab state after its winning bid for the 2022 soccer world cup.

Shares of ABK were trading flat at 0.63 dinars ($2.286) on the Kuwaiti bourse on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.276 Kuwaiti Dinars) (Reporting by Eman Goma, Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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