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22 May 2024

Foreign lenders eye stake in NBK

By Agencies


As many as four foreign banks are in talks with National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) about buying a stake in Kuwait's largest lender, a local newspaper reported on Monday, without citing a source for the information.

Some of the unidentified banks may be at an advanced stage of talks with NBK about the stake, which would be bought either directly on the exchange or through funds, the newspaper said.

An NBK official could not immediately comment on the report.

NBK said a Singapore sovereign wealth fund once made an approach about buying a stake in the bank, the same daily reported last month, citing the bank's chief executive officer.

Buying a stake now is easier after the government changed tax laws for foreign investors, Ibrahim Dabdoub said, according to the daily.

Kuwait's parliament in December approved measures abolishing a 55 per cent capital gains tax on foreigners investing in Kuwaiti stocks, and a cut in corporate tax to 15 per cent from as much as 55 per cent. (Reuters)