The First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has deferred discussions to acquire the Egyptian business of Lebanon-based Bank Audi due to the wake of uncertainty created by the  Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.

Bank Audi Egypt had three branches before it was acquired by Bank Audi in 2005.

Post-acquisition, its branches increased to 50 branches with $4.4bn in total assets as of September last year.

In February, FAB announced that it would decide on whether to finalise the deal to acquire Bank Audi Egypt or not in the second quarter of this year.

However, due to the market conditions, the UAE-based lender was forced to request Bank Audi to put the discussions on hold a few days ago, the report added.

The details regarding when the deal talks may resume have not been made available by the banks.

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The deal was valued at nearly $700m, the publishing house cited two sources as saying.

However, the timing of the deal was not right due to the support needed by the UAE economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) had injected a $70bn capital and liquidity measures to support the country’s economy following the pandemic outbreak.

Last month, FAB launched relief measures for customers. These measures included the postponement of loan repayments and the suspension or reduction of fees and charges across a wide range of financial products.