April 23, 2018 / 6:18 AM / a month ago

Bahrain's Ahli United Bank buys 7.3 pct stake in Saudi Bank AlJazira

DUBAI, April 23 (Reuters) - Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank said on Monday it has bought a 7.3 percent stake in Saudi Arabia’s Islamic lender, Bank AlJazira, for $173 million.

The investment is not expected to have any material impact on Ahli United Bank’s financial position, Bahrain’s largest bank by assets said in a statement.

The move comes as regional and international banks accelerate moves to boost their presence in Saudi Arabia, encouraged by the economic reforms that aim to boost the kingdom’s financial markets.

Other Bahraini financial institutions are also banking on close proximity to Saudi Arabia to help revive Bahrain’s reputation as a major Middle East business centre.

GFH Financial recently announced plans to develop its business in Saudi Arabia. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Tom Arnold)

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