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Ahli United Bank (AUB), Bahrain's largest lender, is evaluating a sale or a merger with a rival bank in a potential $5 billion deal, bankers familiar with the situation said.AUB came close to a merger with a bank based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area in 2010 but the financial crisis derailed the deal, said one banker who was involved in the talks but declined to name the bank.AUB's shares are up 14 percent since January and have risen by over a third in the past 12 months. The bank has a market value of $4.7 billion on the Bahrain Bourse and $3.5 billion on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.
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