The Saudi central bank is examining bids from local banks and private investors for ABN Amro's 40 per cent stake in Saudi Hollandi Bank, Hollandi's chairman said in published remarks.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the Kingdom's central bank, was considering the sale of the stake either to the public via the stock market or to accept bids made by "local banks and firms", said Mubarak Al Khafrah, Hollandi's newly appointed chairman, according to al-Riyadh newspaper on Saturday.
He did not name any of the bidders and made no reference to previous bids by foreign banks.
Officials at Hollandi and the Saudi central bank could not be reached for comment.
National Bank of Kuwait said in 2006 that it was competing with Standard Chartered Plc to buy ABN's stake in Hollandi. Sources familiar with the matter have said that Lebanon's Banque Audi was also interested.
The stake is worth $1.43 billion based on the last closing price.
Hollandi's ex-chairman, Sulaiman Al Suhaimi, has said that ABN Amro has received offers for its Hollandi stake.
ABN was bought last year by a group of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland.
Royal Bank of Scotland and its partners Spain's Santander and Belgian/Dutch bank Fortis said in their offer for ABN that the Saudi assets would be sold. (Reuters)
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