First Abu Dhabi Bank to resume exclusive talks to buy Bank Audi Egypt

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Updated 31 October 2020

First Abu Dhabi Bank to resume exclusive talks to buy Bank Audi Egypt

First Abu Dhabi Bank said that it has resumed exclusive talks to acquire Lebanese Bank Audi activities in Egypt.
“These negotiations are subject to the requirements of due diligence examination, agreement on final transactions and the required regulatory approvals,” the bank added in a disclosure statement to the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.
The UAE's largest lender suspended the acquisition talks being held last May with Bank Audi officials due to the difficult market conditions caused by the pandemic, but Reuters recently quoted a source saying that the bank intends to resume talks about buying the Lebanese Bank Audi in Egypt.
Mohamed Bedeir, CEO and managing director of Bank Audi, said that exclusive negotiations have been resumed between Bank Audi Lebanon and First Abu Dhabi Bank UAE on the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary in Egypt, Bank Audi Egypt, to First Abu Dhabi Bank UAE.
He added that the two banks had discussions early in the year and made progress on many points.

FASTFACT

First Abu Dhabi Bank is the UAE’s largest lender.

The current discussions are subject to confirmation of examination, signing of contracts and obtaining approval from the authorities, including the approval of the Central Bank of Egypt.
Bank Audi Group operates in a number of markets, led by Egypt, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar and the UAE, and employs about 6,200 people; 1,431 in the Egyptian unit.
A banking source indicated that the group may have to exit from other markets besides Egypt to comply with the requirements of the Lebanese central bank, which obliges banks there to make an increase in their capital by 20 percent before the end of next June.
Bank Audi Egypt is considered one of the most important markets for the Lebanese group, as it acquired 16.4 percent of the group’s profits at the end of last June, while its assets constitute about 9.2 percent of the group’s entire assets.
Bank Audi joined the Egyptian market in March 2006.


Brexit talks resume in London as clock ticks down

Updated 21 min 49 sec ago

Brexit talks resume in London as clock ticks down

  • Both sides say a deal is still just possible but the same sticking points remain

LONDON: EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier resumed make-or-break Brexit talks with British counterpart David Frost in London on Saturday with the clock ticking for a deal on future trading arrangements.

It is the first time they have met face-to-face since Barnier went into self-isolation after a member of his team caught coronavirus.

A failure to reach an agreement would mean Britain and the EU trading on World Trade Organization terms, with tariffs immediately imposed on goods traveling to and from the continent.

Britain has been largely trading on the same terms with the EU since it officially left the bloc in January as part of a transition agreement that expires at the end of the year.

As it stands, it will leave Europe’s trade and customs area in five weeks with talks on a follow-on agreement stalled over fishing rights and fair trade rules. Both parties warned on Friday that success was not guaranteed, with Barnier tweeting that the “same significant divergences persist.”

“We are not far from the take it or leave it moment,” he later told ambassadors from member states, according to a European source familiar with the closed-door meeting.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lead negotiator Frost said that people were “asking me why we are still talking,” he tweeted.

“My answer is that it’s my job to do my utmost to see if the conditions for a deal exist. It is late but a deal is still possible, and I will continue to talk until it’s clear that it isn’t.”

A no-deal scenario is widely expected to cause economic chaos, with customs checks required at borders.

Concern is particularly acute on the border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, where the sudden imposition of a hard border threatens the delicate peace secured by the 1999 Good Friday Agreement.

Johnson spoke to Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin late Friday and “underlined his commitment to reaching a deal that respects the sovereignty of the UK.”

But he also “reaffirmed the need to prioritize the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland,” according to a summary of the call released by London.

Johnson earlier told reporters the “likelihood of a deal is very much determined by our friends and partners in the EU,” adding there were “substantial and important differences to be bridged.”

A key sticking point is the EU’s demand for a post-Brexit “level playing field,” with punishing trade penalties if either side diverges from agreed standards or state aid regulations, but Britain does not want to be bound by rules made in Brussels.

Britain’s fishing waters are also a hot topic, with sources on Friday saying that Barnier told envoys that London was asking that European access to them be cut by 80 percent, while the EU was willing to accept 15 to 18 percent.

The talks have already pushed on much longer than expected and time is running out for ratification of any deal by the European Parliament by the end of the year.

Members of the European Parliament have expressed frustration with the delays and may have to ratify a deal between Christmas and the New Year.

In Brussels, one source close to the talks said “I will eat my hat” if there was a deal by Monday, echoing a chorus of complaints that Johnson was playing the clock.