Egypt stock exchange: Beltone chairman to sell stake

The chairman of Beltone Financial has agreed to sell his 20-percent stake in the Egyptian investment bank to Arabiyya Lel Istithmaraat (AI), Egypt's stock exchange announced Wednesday.

"It was agreed that AI will buy 20 percent of the company's shares owned by the chairman," the stock exchange said in a statement.

AI, an Egyptian investment firm, said in an emailed statement that it paid LE16 per share, which would put the value of the sale atLE26.8 million (US$4.44 million).

Beltone's stock, which had been suspended earlier in the session, resumed trading at LE14 per share. AI's stock was trading 1.8 percent higher and the benchmark index was up 0.9 percent.

Beltone said last month its chairman — Aladdin Saba — was in talks to sell his stake in the bank, while AI said it was seeking to buy the stakes of several Beltone shareholders.

Egyptian investment banks were hit especially hard after foreign investors pulled out of the country, and trade on the stock exchange slumped in the wake of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

According to Reuters data, Beltone has a market capitalization of LE117 million. Saba owned 19.99 percent as of 30 June.

Saba could not be immediately reached for comment.

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