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Global may sell Al Salam stake

MANAMA: Kuwait's Global Investment House plans to sell its stake in Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Salam Bank, offloading assets following a debt default earlier this year.

The bank said in regulatory filings yesterday it aimed to sell the 14.1 per cent stake in Al Salam by June 9 and would book profits in the second quarter.

Global is among the most prominent financial firms in the Gulf region to face serious problems as credit conditions tightened during the financial crisis.

"They want to improve the balance sheet," said Mustapha Behbehani, a director at Gulf Consulting Company. "Whatever they can sell."

Mr Behbehani said he expected Global to sell more of its international holdings.

"They've invested in different places. That's why they were so exposed internationally," he said.

"The sale of Al Salam Bank is part of Global's strategy of streamlining its proprietary investments and focusing on its core activities," Shahid Hameed, the head of GCC asset management at Global, said.

Global said the lowest acceptable price it would accept for Al Salam shares was 140 Bahraini fils per share, which would generate a profit of 6.4m Kuwaiti dinars. The bid comes at a premium of 16pc to Al Salam's last closing share price of 121 fils on Sunday.



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