Lebanon’s Bank Audi Is Said to Receive Interest in Egypt Unit

(Bloomberg) -- Bank Audi SAL received several expressions of interest to buy its Egyptian unit, according to an official from the bank.

Lebanon’s biggest lender by assets held informal talks with institutions that are seeking to expand their operations in Egypt or enter in the north African country, the official said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Bank Audi hasn’t made a decision, the official said. Arabiya television was first to report that the bank plans to sell the unit as part of a restructuring.

Lebanese lenders have tightened restrictions on the movement of capital as the Arab nation, one of the world’s most indebted, struggles with its worst economic crisis in decades. S&P Global Ratings last month downgraded Bank Audi to “selective default” after the central bank rationed dollars and local lenders imposed limits on withdrawals and the movement of funds abroad.

Bank Audi operates about 50 branches in Egypt and 88 outlets in Lebanon.

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