By Asma Alsharif
CAIRO Dec 1 Egypt's largest listed lender CIB
sold a near-72 percent stake in its investment banking
arm CI Capital to Egyptian and Gulf investors on Thursday, as
part of a move to shed subsidiaries and focus on core actives.
Commercial International Bank's announcement of the deal
came a day after it confirmed it was in talks to sell a majority
stake in CI Capital, which banking sources say is worth near 1
billion Egyptian pounds ($56.50 million).
CIB did not say how much the sale, structured as a
book-building process, was worth.
"It is noteworthy that CIB plans on maintaining a minority
stake in CI Capital Holding and will continue to provide its
support to the company during the foreseeable future," CIB said.
The transaction is expected to be finalised once all
necessary regulatory approvals were obtained, the bank said.
CIB had been seeking buyers for its investment unit since a
planned sale to Beltone Financial, agreed in February,
failed to win regulatory approval.
Beltone Financial is owned by billionaire Naguib Sawiris'
Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, which is
embroiled in a standoff with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory
Authority over its shareholding structure.
Beltone has also clashed with the regulator and stock
exchange over the repeated suspension of its shares.
Sawiris had planned to merge CI Capital with Beltone
Financial to create one of Egypt's largest investment firms.
Analysts say the new deal was likely to go through as it did
not face such regulatory hurdles. The announcement was made
after stock market trading had ended.
($1 = 17.7000 Egyptian pounds)
(Writing by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)