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Bangladeshi prime minister OKs sale of state-run bank to Saudi prince

Bangladeshi prime minister OKs sale of state-run bank to Saudi prince

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on Thursday approved the sale of the state-run Rupali Bank to a Saudi prince for US$330 million (euro259.4 million), an official said.
Zia's approval came more than a month after the country's Privatization Board announced Prince Bandar Bin Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud was the highest bidder, the board's chairman, Enam Ahmed Chaudhury, told reporters.
"Now the process for handing over will start," Chaudhury said.
The offer from the prince was higher than the selling price a government commission had expected.
The government, which owns 94 percent of the bank's shares, decided to sell 67 percent of its stake to satisfy banking sector reforms that were a condition set by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for loans.
The Rupali Bank is the smallest of four nationalized commercial banks. It has 493 branches, more than 2.5 million deposit accounts and 5,731 staffers.
The bank's total assets were US$1.07 billion (euro840 million) in December 2005, the government said.