Dubai sells Bank Islam stake to Malaysia's BIMB for $550 mln

DUBAI Thu Aug 1, 2013 1:20am EDT

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DUBAI Aug 1 (Reuters) - Dubai Group has sold its 30.5 percent stake in Malaysia's Bank Islam to BIMB Holdings Bhd for $550 million, the investment firm's second asset disposal in less than two months.

A unit of Dubai Holding, the investment arm of the ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai Group has been in talks with bank creditors for nearly three years, since the global credit crunch savaged its portfolio of assets.

BIMB Holdings, which currently owns 49 percent of Bank Islam, had said earlier in the day that it will pay $884 million to gain full control of the country's oldest and largest standalone Islamic bank, in a deal that will help it expand in a rapidly growing sector.

Dubai Group had acquired a 40 percent stake in Bank Islam for $224 million in October 2006 but the stake was diluted to 30.5 percent in 2009 after a capital increase that the group did not participate in.

The company sold its credit card business to Abu Dhabi lender First Gulf Bank (FGB) for $164 million in June. (Reporting By Mirna Sleiman; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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