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Ithmaar Holding eyes sale of stake in fellow Bahraini bank BBK

Bahraini Islamic retail bank Ithmaar Holding BSC is considering selling its 25.4% stake in BBK BSC, worth about $250 million, Reuters reported Aug. 3, citing "sources familiar with the matter."

Ithmaar had bought convertible bonds issued by BBK in 2016, when the latter sold 100 million Bahraini dinars worth of securities to existing shareholders, which would increase the size of a potential deal, the newswire said. The stake may only be offered to strategic investors. BBK is another Bahrain-based bank, majority owned by Bahraini and Kuwaiti government entities.

Buyers may be wary about buying the stake because having minority stakes can have negative implications for complying with capital rules, the sources said.

As of Aug. 3, US$1 was equivalent to 370 Bahraini fils.