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| 08 February, 2017

Chairman leads deal to buy stake in Jordan's Arab Bank for $1.12 bln

A dealer gestures towards price movements on an electronic board at the investors gallery in the Amman Stock Exchange  March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

A dealer gestures towards price movements on an electronic board at the investors gallery in the Amman Stock Exchange March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

A consortium of Arab and Jordanian investors led by Arab Bank Chairman Sabih al Masri has bought Oger's 20 percent stake in Group for $1.12 billion.



By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A consortium of Arab and Jordanian investors led by Arab Bank Chairman Sabih al Masri has bought Oger's 20 percent stake in Jordan's Arab Bank Group for $1.12 billion, the bank said on Wednesday.

It said the deal to buy the stake from Lebanon's Hariri family which owns Oger was concluded by the consortium that includes 40 investors, a majority of them Jordanian.

Masri led negotiations to buy stake after the family of Saudi Arabia's Fawaz Alhokair dropped a $1.1 billion offer.

The stake is held by Oger Middle East Holding, which is owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri.

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Arab Bank is one of the Arab world's largest privately owned banks and operates in 30 countries. It owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia's Arab National Bank ANB .

Construction giant Saudi Oger, the central plank of the Hariri business empire, began over a year ago to seek buyers to help ease cashflow problems brought on by difficulties in the Saudi building sector.

As a result, it has been seeking to shed assets to try to meet its debt, which includes around 15 billion riyals to banks, plus billions more to contractors, suppliers and employees, sources told Reuters in September.

The Arab Bank stake sale was expected to help it repay a $1.03 billion loan from regional and international banks due to mature this month.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans) ((suleiman.al-khalidi@thomsonreuters.com; +962 79 5521407; Reuters Messaging: suleiman.al-khalidi.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))