The Egyptian lender is to establish a new real estate finance company in partnership with the Benghazi-based Bank of Commerce and Development (BCD).

An agreement signed on 28 September by the heads of both banks will involve cooperationin general banking services and providing on real estate-related financial products in Libya.

According to the vice-president of the Housing and Development Bank (HDB), Essam Abou Hamid, it will include the establishment of a specialised housing bank, with a capital of LD10m ($8m), in which the BCD will own a 51% stake.

The HDB was established in 1979 and is owned by a mix of funds, local authorities and individual shareholders. It is listed on the Cairo bourse.

Libya's BCD, which sold a 49% stake to the Qatar National Bank in April 2012, employs around 820 people across more than 30 branches in Libya.

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