Bloomberg News

Beltone Board Decides to Sell Egyptian Brokerage Business

February 14, 2012

(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Beltone Financial Holding has put its brokerage business up for sale less than two weeks after its chairman canceled a plan to sell his stake in the Egyptian investment bank.

The Cairo-based company didn’t give a reason for the decision, made at a board meeting yesterday. Beltone will also sell an administrative building in Smart Village, a business park on the outskirts of Cairo, to “maximize returns for investors and increase future growth rates,” it said in a statement to the Egyptian bourse today.

Shares of Beltone advanced 2.9 percent to 13.37 Egyptian pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, valuing the company at 111.9 million pounds ($19 million). The stock is down 1 percent this year, compared with a 41 percent surge in the benchmark EGX 30 Index.

The asset sales come after Chairman Aladdin Saba canceled the sale of his 20 percent stake in Beltone to Arabia Investments & Development & Financial Investments Holding Co. on Feb. 1. Beltone ended talks merge with Egyptian investment bank Pioneers Holding in 2010, even after shareholders of both firms approved the deal.

Saba didn’t return calls and a text message to his mobile telephone seeking comment. Osama Rashad, a spokesman for Beltone, declined to comment.

--With assistance from Alaa Shahine in Dubai. Editors: Daliah Merzaban, Inal Ersan

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at anamatalla@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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