October 3, 2018 / 11:40 AM / a month ago

Qatar's Majda buys government's stake in Islamic Zitouna Bank

TUNIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The Tunisian subsidiary of Qatar’s Majda Group has won a deal to acquire the Tunisian state’s stake of the Zitouna Islamic Bank, worth about 130 million dollars, an official told Reuters on Wednesday.

“Mejda group has made the highest financial offer, winning the state share in Zitouna Bank(67 percent) and Zitouna Takaful insurance(70 percent) for 370 million Tunisian dinars ($131.64 million)”, Adel Ghrar, the head of Al Karama Holding, told Reuters.

Karama Holding manages the companies confiscated from former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family after the 2011 revolution.

Zitouna group was owned by Sakhr al-Materi, the son in-law of the former president Ben Ali before being seized by the state in 2011.

Ghrar said Zitouna group has a capital of 120 million dinars and has more than 120 branches in Tunisia.

The deal shows the appetite of bigger Middle Eastern lenders for the Tunisian market, where authorities have allowed some Islamic banking products in order to attract foreign investments and Islamic cash-flows. ($1 = 2.8107 Tunisian dinars) (Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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