Reuters
by Ehab Farouk

(Corrects book value year in paragraph 4 to 2016, not 2017)

CAIRO May 7 (Reuters) – Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank paid twice book value to acquire Barclays’ Egyptian business and hopes the acquisition will enable it to increase its market share in Egypt to 5 percent within five years, the Moroccan bank’s CEO said.

The bank plans to rename the unit Attijariwafa Bank Egypt and raise its profile in Egypt, CEO Mohamed El Kettani said.

Britain’s Barclays reached a deal last year to sell its Egyptian banking unit to Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morocco’s largest banks, but the value of the deal, which closed this month, has not been disclosed by either side.

Kettani, speaking to Reuters on Sunday, would not put an exact dollar figure on the acquisition but said it was twice Barclays Egypt’s 2016 book value or about seven times its expected net profit for 2017.

Sources had told Reuters previously that the Barclays Egypt business was valued at around $400 million.

Kettani expects the cost of the deal to be recovered in five to seven years.

Attijariwafa hopes the acquisition will enable it to increase its market share in Egypt to 5 percent within five years, from about 1-1.5 percent currently, and it plans to add new services such as leasing and insurance, said Kettani.

In the next few days the bank will choose an international consulting firm to develop a five-year strategy for its Egypt operations.

“Attijari Bank Egypt will be the group’s entryway to Gulf states and East Africa,” Kettani said.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Susan Fenton)