Qatar National Bank is to begin due diligence on National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB) with a view to a takeover, after receiving approval from Egypt's central bank on Thursday.
It is the first step in QNB's drive to acquire a 77.2 per cent stake in the top Egyptian bank.
NSGB said QNB's request was made to the Central Bank during the preliminary stages of the mooted deal. It is still unclear whether NSGB and QNB will reach an agreement.
The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) asked NSGB to provide it with any documentation pertaining to the potential acquisition.
The due diligence review will investigate and assess the Egyptian bank's legal and financial fundamentals before QNB presents its purchase offer by a 22 November deadline.
QNB has hired leading US financial services group JP Morgan Chase to perform due diligence and advise on the potential acquisition.