File - The Ahli International Bank is seen in Beirut, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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London-based bank Standard Chartered and Amman-based Ahli International Bank are holding talks with some of the local lenders which are keen to expand their presence and balance sheets in Lebanon.Some bankers said that Bank Audi was still interested in Ahli, but added that the talks had not yet led to any real results.Bassil told The Daily Star earlier that foreign-owned banks were exiting the market because they could not compete with well-established Lebanese banks, which have been in business here for many decades."It seems that Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh does not want to sell the bank to an investment bank because he does not want to add another bank license," another source said.He added that Salameh was working to convince Bank Audi to step in and buy the retail business of Standard although the assets of the bank are insignificant.
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