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Deal to buy Hariris’ stake at Arab Bank executed

By JT - Feb 09,2017 - Last updated at Feb 09,2017

AMMAN — Arab and Jordanian investors led by Arab Bank Chairman Sabih Masri, on Wednesday, executed a previously announced deal to buy a 20-per cent stake owned by the Hariri family in the Arab Bank Group for $1.12 billion, a statement from the bank said.

The stake was registered in the name of Oger Middle East Holdings, a component of Lebanon's Hariri family business empire. It involved a consortium including 40 investors, a majority of them Jordanians whose businesses are based in the Kingdom and abroad.

Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Governor Ziad Fariz said that the deal will only have an insignificant impact on Jordan's foreign currency reserves as the majority of the funds was provided by foreign or Arab investors, or Jordanians who financed the deal from their investments abroad, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Fariz noted that the deal will enhance the diversity of the Arab Bank's shareholders, which will improve the bank’s strategic and administrative performance.

It reflected foreign, Arab and Jordanian confidence in the country's economy and companies, the governor added.

The Arab Bank Group on Saturday disclosed its 2016 results, reporting a growth of 20 per cent in net profit. 

Net operating income before provisions and taxes exceeded $1.1 billion, while its post tax net profit reached $533 million for 2016 compared to $442 million for 2015, according to a bank statement late last month.

Excluding the effect of foreign currency devaluations, the bank has shown a consistent solid growth during 2016 as loans and advances grew by 6 per cent to reach $23.7 billion, and customer deposits grew by 3 per cent to reach $33.6 billion, according to the statement.

 

The Arab Bank Group, which has an extensive network of over 600 branches across five continents, was named the Best Bank in the Middle East 2016 by the New York-based magazine Global Finance.

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