Up to five Qatari individuals are aiming to buy a 25 per cent stake in Ahli United Bank (AUB), Bahrain's biggest lender, with the aim of turning it into a wholly Islamic bank, a source familiar with the matter said.
AUB said last week Kuwaiti investment firm Tamdeen and other unnamed shareholders had agreed to sell the stake in the Bahraini bank to an undisclosed buyer from the Gulf Arab region, in a deal estimated at about $1.3 billion (Dh4.7bn).
The lack of details about the deal, particularly there being no name of the buyer, cast doubts on whether it would go through, which weighed on AUB's stock after it initially gained. "The group is made up of four to five high net worth individuals from Qatar. They are conducting their due diligence and will make a decision in 60 days," said the source.