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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Shuaa Capital confirms talks to acquire extra shares in Kuwait's Amwal 

Dubai-based bank increased stake to 11% in July 

Shuaa Capital's talk to acquire more shares in Amwal form part of its new acquisition strategy. Jaime Puebla / The National
Shuaa Capital's talk to acquire more shares in Amwal form part of its new acquisition strategy. Jaime Puebla / The National

Dubai-based Shuaa Capital is in discussions to acquire Amwal International Investment Company, after buying a minority stake in the Kuwaiti investment bank in July.

Shuaa, the top investment bank in the Arabian Gulf region before the 2008 financial crisis, said it was negotiating a "potential acquisition of Amwal" in a statement posted on Tuesday on the Dubai stock exchange.

“Shuaa Capital has not yet signed any document pertaining to this transaction and will keep the market posted on developments with respect to this transaction,” it said.

In a Boursa Kuwait filing on Monday, Amwal said Shuaa intended to take its shareholding in the bank to 75-100 per cent, sending its shares soaring. Shuaa did not say on Tuesday what size of stake it was seeking in Amwal.

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Shuaa has been in expansion mode since returning to profitability in 2017. Shuaa had looked to invest in fellow Kuwaiti bank Global Investment House and Bahrain’s GFH, but both attempts were abandoned last year.

Shuaa bought a 8 per cent stake in Amwal in July, whose main investments include a 51 per cent stake in online trading platform Noor Capital Markets. The acquisition took Shuaa’s stake in the bank to 11 per cent, the remainder owned by subsidiary Gulf Finance Corporation.

Last year, the Dubai-based bank acquired two financial services firms – Integrated Capital and Integrated Securities - from its biggest shareholder, the Abu Dhabi Financial Group.

Shuaa’s profit for the nine months to the end of September rose to Dh60 million, compared with a net loss of Dh113.6m for the year-earlier period.

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