Central Bank sources: Foreign banks seek to buy Egyptian banks

The Central Bank of Egypt has received several requests from foreign banks to buy out BNP Paribas and French Societe Generale Group’s share in National Societe General Bank, a Central Bank source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The source, who asked not to be named, said the Central Bank had not received any requests for new operation licenses, but rather buyout proposals, adding that the Central Bank remains reluctant to issue further banking licenses for the current period.

French newspaper Le Figaro had reported that the Emirati Dubai National Bank and Moroccan Attijari Wafa Bank had jointly offered to buy BNP Paribas’ retail banking units in Egypt.

The newspaper said the target bank was one of several French banks that had put up their Egypt branches for sale in June. It also quoted an unnamed banking source that the deal is expected to make nearly US$500 million for the French group.

The Emirati and Moroccan banks are closest to winning the deal, the source told Le Figaro. Other buyers may abstain from competing to wait for further European sales.

The same newspaper added that Societe Generale had begun talks with Qatar National Bank for the latter to sell its largest share in National Societe General Bank, which stands at a market value of nearly 2.4 billion euros.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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