Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD (ENBD), outbid Africa’s third largest lender, Attijariwafa Bank to acquire BNP Paribas’ Egyptian banking unit in a $500 million deal that will help the Dubai bank increase its regional presence.

ArabianBusiness reports the bank’s chairman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said the deal “represents an excellent opportunity for Emirates NBD to enter the promising Egyptian market” and also achieve its “…strategic aspiration of expanding regionally.”

Despite protracted civil unrest in Africa’s former second largest economy, Arab investors have expressed continued interest in gaining presence in the Islam-prevalent country.

Last week, the Qatar National Bank agreed to buy majority holdings of Societe Generale’s Egyptian unit for $2 billion.

An official statement on Thursday by the Dubai bourse revealed that the agreed ENBD deal, will see the Dubai government-controlled bank holding a 95.2 percent stake in BNP’s Egypt unit, before making a premium offer to minority shareholders for the rest of the shares.

A top executive of the bank has disclosed that the company sees BNP’s Egypt arm acquisition adding 7 percent to the group’s net income, and 4 percent to revenue, adding that it is seeking further buys to boost international revenues to 20 percent.

According to report, the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2013, values the business at 1.6 times its book value as of September 2012.

BNP, France’s biggest listed bank, is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. The lender has been looking to shore up capital base and divest from non-core businesses.


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