FAB to complete integration of Bank Audi Egypt by 2022

The bank agreed to buy the Egyptian arm of Lebanon-based Bank Audi in January this year

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 15, 2020.  FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank) building along Khalifa Bin Zayed The First Street.
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First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE's largest lender by assets, has completed the transfer of Bank Audi Egypt's shares and will begin integrating its operations.

The lender, which announced in April that it had received approval from regulators to transfer the shares, expects to complete the process by 2022, it said in a statement on Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade.

FAB agreed to buy the Egyptian arm of Bank Audi, based in Lebanon, in January this year for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to significantly increase the FAB's footprint in Egypt.

The integration of Bank Audi Egypt into FAB's Egyptian operations will make FAB one of the biggest foreign banks in the Arab world's most populous nation, with assets of 130 billion Egyptian pounds ($8.5bn) as of the end of last year. The combined operation will be led by FAB Egypt's chief executive Mohamed Fayed, who joined the lender in 2019 after previously heading Bank Audi.

FAB was advised on the deal by UBS, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy. Bank Audi was advised by EFG Hermes, JP Morgan and Broadgate Advisors.

Bank Audi Egypt has 53 branches with total assets of $5.3bn as of the end of September. FAB already has 17 branches in Egypt.

FAB had initially started talks in 2020 to acquire the Egyptian unit of Bank Audi but later suspended discussions owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lender is pressing ahead with its expansion plans after it posted a 3 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit this year thanks to lower impairment charges and a broader economic recovery.