Ahli United Bank (ABU) has been granted regulatory approval to double the value of a rights issue launched in June to more than 150 million dollars, the bank said Monday, July 2. The ABU has extended the deadline for accepting subscriptions from shareholders by another week starting July 2 due to high demand, the bank said in a statement.
Ordinary shareholders were initially offered 256 million shares worth $79.4 million. "The decision to increase the maximum number of offered shares to 506 million worth $156.9 million is a resounding endorsement by shareholders of the bank's strategy," ABU chief executive officer Adel el-Lebban said.
ABU was formed last year by the merger of Bahrain's Al-Ahli Commercial Bank and the London-based United Bank of Kuwait (UBK). It has been incorporated in Manama as an offshore banking unit.
"The increased capital arising from the sale of shares will greatly assist our plans to fund our acquisition objectives and to grow organically throughout the Gulf," Lebban said.
In March, ABU acquired a minority share in the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East (BKME) for $132.8 million. ABU has assets of 3.3 billion dollars. It posted a profit of $40.1 million in 2000 and made $14.8 million in profits in the first quarter of this year, up 11 percent on the same period of last year. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)