DUBAI, May 17 (Reuters) - First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has put on hold discussions to acquire the Egyptian assets of Lebanon’s Bank Audi due to difficult market conditions, two sources told Reuters. FAB, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, communicated the request a few days ago to Bank Audi, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, declining to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.
FAB and Bank Audi were not immediately available to comment.
One of the sources said the deal was worth $700 million but the timing was now not right due to the need to support the UAE economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
FAB had said in February that it would decide in the second quarter on the deal.
Lebanese banks are trying to strengthen their finances as the country endures its worst financial crisis since the civil war.
Bank Audi Egypt has grown from a three-branch operation acquired by Bank Audi in 2005 to 50 branches with total assets of $4.4 billion at the end of September. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Saeed Azhar; editing by Jason Neely)