One of Bahrain’s largest banks the Ahli United Bank has just sold 25% of its operations to an unnamed Gulf purchaser. It is believed that the unknown person or enterprise paid in the region of $1.32 billion for this transaction.
It was announced yesterday by an AUB spokesman that other investors in the Bank including Kuwaiti real estate investment firm Tamdeed had agreed to the selling of 25% of the Banks shares. The bank also revealed that the shares would sell for $1.10 each which is just over 37% of their current market value. They were doing substantially better yesterday rounding off at $0.80 each as compared to their lowest value last January of just $0.44 per share. The new shareholder is likely to be the largest shareholder in the bank and the deal is expected to be finalized within the next sixty days. The AUB Bank was not prepared to give anymore information about the new shareholder and neither were any of the spokespeople working for Tamdeen.
The AUB’s Bahrain listing ended 6.7% higher yesterday afternoon and this is an overall gain of 33% since late March when the news of this anonymous new shareholder first began to circulate.
AUB’s Kuwait listing was up 4.6% yesterday and was up by 29% overall since late last March. Tamdeen shares were also up just over 8%. AUB now has a market value of $3.6 billion and has also just been given the go ahead to rename Bank of Kuwait to Ahli United Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East and therefore it will now be classed as an Islamic Bank as opposed to a conventional one.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News