UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is planning to restart discussions to buy Lebanon-based Bank Audi’s Egyptian business, Reuters reported.

This week the lender will host an internal meeting to resume the negotiations and launch a final bid.

FAB may restart negotiations within a period of two weeks, the report added citing one of the sources.

A spokesperson for Bank Audi Egypt (BAE) said that FAB did not reach out to the bank regarding the deal yet.

In May, FAB halted talks to acquire the Bank Audi’s Egyptian business due to the uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deal was valued at nearly $700m, the Reuters report added.

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Last week, FAB also began talks with Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi to form cooperation in the financial sector as UAE and Israel normalized their diplomatic ties.

In August, UAE and Israel officially announced that they have inked a US-brokered deal to begin the normalization of relations.

FAB’s decision comes after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between both the countries.

This comes close on the heels of Bank Leumi entering into preliminary discussions with Emirates NBD last week to forge a partnership after the peace deal.

Banks in the Gulf are looking to expand their presence in Egypt.

The Dubai government-owned Emirates NBD is also planning to buy the assets of Bank Audi Egypt, as well as Lebanon’s Blom Bank.