AHLI UNITED BANK ENTERS INTO LANDMARK AGREEMENT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. today announced the signing of a landmark US$ 200 million loan agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. This is IFC’s largest investment in the region to date. IFC’s loan, will help Ahli United Bank in its successfully pursued strategy of becoming a significant financial group, with a broader network of banks and financial institutions in the region’s developing countries, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, and Yemen.
The announcement was made at a press conference held today at the Bank’s Seef Headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain, following an official signing ceremony. The agreement was signed by Hamad Al Marzouq, Deputy Chairman and Adel El-Labban, Group CEO and Managing Director, on behalf of AUB, and Michael G. Essex, IFC’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, and Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director of Global Financial Markets.
Under the terms of the agreements, the IFC will provide a US$ 200 million tier II eligible subordinated term loan to AUB, and will also acquire a ten per cent equity (up to US$ 40 million) in Delta International Bank (DIB), Egypt, primarily through a planned capital increase. In August this year a consortium of GCC institutional investors led by AUB acquired a 89.3% stake in Delta International Bank, marking the Bank’s entry into North Africa.
Speaking at the press conference on behalf of AUB, Hamad Al Marzouq, Deputy Chairman, said, “It is a privilege to have a reputed organisation like the IFC as our partner as AUB enters into a period of significant growth and expansion. Our agreement with the IFC will support our expansion initiatives in the Middle East region and North Africa. We intend to establish our presence in new markets through our strategy of acquiring and re-structuring financial institutions.”
Michael Essex, IFC’s Director for Middle East and North Africa, said, “IFC is pleased to enter into a long term partnership with Ahli United Bank as they expand their presence across the MENA region and create a network of banks that will provide a much needed channel for private sector investment from resource-rich Gulf Cooperation Council markets to lower-income countries.”
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director of Global Financial Markets, said, “The regional expansion of AUB will support trade, financial flows, remittances, tourism, and investments from the resource-surplus Gulf Cooperation Council countries into parts of the region that need economic growth through productive private sector investment.”
Adel El-Labban, Group CEO & Managing Director, AUB, concluded by speaking on the significance of the agreement, “The IFC has made its single, largest investment into the Middle East region through AUB, which underlines the bank’s leading position in the Gulf’s banking industry and its recognition internationally. “
“Through a strategy of structured, organic growth and acquisitions we have evolved into an integrated, regional banking group with a well diversified cross border reach augmented by distinct local knowledge in all the countries in which we operate,” said El-Labban.