Tunisia's International Arab Bank (BIAT) has notified its shareholders that it had sold its 30 percent stake in local insurance firm Groupe des Assurances de Tunisie (GAT), held both directly and indirectly.
According to a bank statement, the move is designed to allow BIAT to focus on developing Assurances BIAT, a bancassurance partnership in which the bank has a 50.5 percent stake. The remaining shares in Assurances BIAT are owned by the Bahrain-based Arab Insurance Group (ARIG) and Assurances Banque Populaire.
Established in 1976, BIAT (Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie) has emerged as Tunisia’s third largest bank ranked by total assets and largest private bank with a market share of 15 percent of deposits and 11 percent of loans.
In 1999, BIAT was voted 'Best Tunisian Bank' by Euromoney. BIAT maintains a leading position in Tunisia’s financial and foreign exchange markets as well as in international payments and trade financing.
Tunisia, whose insurance sector is undergoing liberalization, is a fast growing market ranked amongst the top five Arab economies. — (menareport.com)
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