Kuwait's Noor Financial Investment Co said on Sunday it was in talks with potential banking partners about bidding for Egypt's Banque du Caire, which the Egyptian government is looking to sell.
"We are trying to build a consortium," Noor Managing Director Naser al-Marri told Reuters by telephone. "We are still looking for a bank who is bidding," Marri said, declining to identify possible partners.
The Egyptian government plans to sell as much as 80 per cent of the country's third-largest state bank by the end of April. Noor and Saudi Arabia's Samba Financial Group are among 12 banks submitting preliminary offers for the stake, Egyptian daily Al Alam al Youm reported.
Noor, the financial arm of Kuwait's National Industries Group Holding is looking to own as much as 29 per cent of Banque du Caire, Marri said.
Mashreq, Dubai's third-largest lender by market value, said in September it may bid for Banque du Caire which the Egyptian government is looking to sell for as much as $1.6 billion (Dh5.87 billion).
A group led by Mashreq last year made an unsuccessful bid for Egypt's state-owned Bank of Alexandria. Mashreqbank Chief Executive Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair said a year ago the lender was considering other targets in the Middle Eastern state.
Ali Raza Khan, head of corporate affairs at Mashreq declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement when Reuters contacted him in Dubai on Sunday. (Reuters)
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