Bank Audi Acquires Majority Stake in Arabeya Online "AOLb".

Beirut, 29 Jul 2010
Bank Audi sal - Audi Saradar Group, the largest bank in Lebanon, announced today that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Arabeya Online "AOLb" (part of Naeem Holding), the first online trading platform in Egypt. The closing of the deal is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bank Audi will purchase a 90% stake in AOLb from Naeem Holding and founder Hesham Tawfic who will remain shareholder and Chief Executive Officer.

Founded in 2006, AOLb is the online trading market leader in Egypt, with EGP 18 billion of value traded in 2009. The company offers a comprehensive array of products including conditional orders, mobile trading and margin trading.

Mr. Samir Hanna, Group CEO of Bank Audi sal - Audi Saradar Group, seized the occasion to underline that "Bank Audi's investment in AOLb comes in line with the Bank's strategy to expand within the MENA region, refine its universal banking model, and compliment its solid Commercial Banking franchise with a Retail brokerage presence", adding that "tapping into the Egyptian market will allow Bank Audi to access an attractive Retail brokerage market."

Mr. Hesham Tawfic expressed his delight about the transaction, as well as AOLb's "pride to be part of Bank Audi's integral expansion plan in the online brokerage business across the MENA region."

Mr. Hanna highlighted "Mr. Tawfic's pioneering role in the Egyptian brokerage market", asserting that it would definitely "bring Bank Audi a wealth of experience which will be instrumental in shaping a scalable brokerage platform to the benefit of the Bank's customers across the region, and will provide the Bank with an influential tool enabling it to rollout a regional brokerage network."

About Bank Audi sal - Audi Saradar Group
Bank Audi is a full fledged regional bank with presence in 11 different countries through 9 banks, 1 investment company and 2 insurance companies. The bank offers a full range of Commercial and Corporate banking, Retail banking, Private banking and Investment banking products and services, in addition to Insurance activities. Besides its historic presence in Lebanon, France and Switzerland, the Bank is now present in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi (through a representative office), and recently Gibraltar. In addition, Bank Audi entered into an agreement with Commerzbank this year to acquire Dresdner Bank Monaco S.A.M, with the closing of the transaction awaiting final regulatory approvals.

At end-June 2010, Bank Audi's consolidated assets reached USD 27.3 billion, principally accounted for by private customers' deposits of USD 23.8 billion, with shareholders' equity reaching USD 2.3 billion at the same date. Based on those criteria, Bank Audi ranks among the top 20 Arab banking groups in the Middle East and North Africa region.


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