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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Bahrain’s Salam buys stake in Sudan bank

Jan 2, 2007 (MANAMA) — Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank has led a successful bid with other investors for a 60 percent stake of the Sudan government-owned El Nilein Industrial Development Bank, a Salam official said on Tuesday.

An official at Nilein, which has operations in Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, said the stake was worth $80 million and that Salam had plans to raise Nilein’s capital after the partial privatisation.

“The Salam banking group and other investors bid for 60 percent of El Nilein. We won the bid,” Salam’s Hassan al-Bastaki told Reuters by telephone.

Salam, an Islamic bank, declined to reveal the names of the other investors or its share of the Nilein stake.

In October, Dubai developer Emaar Properties said it was in talks to buy a stake in Nilein. Emaar officials were not immediately available for comment.

In a statement posted on the Bahrain bourse Web site, Salam said the purchase would help it expand Nilein in the UAE.

“They (Salam) said they would increase El Nilein’s capital and become a strategic partner … and after this they would open more branches in the UAE,” the deputy manager of Nilein’s Abu Dhabi branch, Mohammed Alhafiz Hassan, told Reuters by telephone.

The Sudanese government still owns the remaining 40 percent of Nilein, and plans to sell a further 25 percent by the end of February, Hassan added.

El Nilein, created in 1993 by a merger of the Sudanese Industrial Development Bank and El Nilein Bank, offers commercial and development banking services.

All Sudanese banks comply with Islamic banking principles, which ban lending on interest and investing in sectors such as alcohol, pornography, tobacco, pork and arms.

Bankers have said that an oil and construction boom in Sudan offered banks good opportunities.

(Reuters)