LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) UAE’s largest bank (FAB) may renew potential bid for UK’s Standard Chartered (Stan.L)once the lock-in rules for its previously aborted bid expire, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Shares of StanChart rose 9% following the news.
A StanChart spokesman declined to comment on the report, while FAB could not immediately be reached for comment.
News of the potential bid first emerged on Jan. 5, when FAB said it had considered a bid for London-listed Standard Chartered, but no longer did so.
The Abu Dhabi lender is considering reviving the bid after a lockup period that prevents it from doing so immediately expires, offering $30 billion to $35 billion, compared with Standard Chartered’s market capitalization of $24 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Under UK and Hong Kong takeover rules, FAB cannot bid for Standard Chartered within six months of the termination of a previous potential bid without the consent of the UK bank’s board, or in the absence of a rival takeover.
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Standard Chartered has been the subject of takeover talks for years because of its relative cheapness and presence in fast-growing markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, but regulatory and practical complexities have prevented any such approach from being perfected.
Analysts said further realities, such as possible objections by U.S. authorities to the takeover of a key dollar-clearing bank, meant any deal would be hard to materialize in reality.
JPMorgan and Barclays have in the past been Western lenders with ties to emerging-markets-focused Standard Chartered, but more recently cash-rich Middle Eastern lenders have emerged as potential candidates for such deals.
Sovereign wealth funds and banks have sought deals amid a weakening global outlook as rising oil prices following Russia’s war on Ukraine fueled a boom in the Gulf region.
The National Bank of Saudi Arabia announced in October that it will invest up to US$1.5 billion in Credit Suisse, with a shareholding ratio of up to 9.9%.
Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru and Lawrence White in London; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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