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- Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - From Print Edition


KARACHI: A consortium comprising of International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), Bank Muscat, Nomura International and Sinthos Capital has announced the completion of acquisition of its majority stake in Saudi Pak Commercial Bank (SPCB).


The consortium is led by senior bankers Shaukat Tarin and Sadeq Sayeed. The consortium has acquired 86.55 per cent stake in SPCB for around $213 million or $0.47 per share (PKR29.3 equivalent per share).


Tarin will assume the position of CEO of the new bank and the re-branded bank will concentrate on expanding its consumer banking and (Small and Medium) SME businesses. “We are excited to be working with the customers and employees of Saudi Pak Commercial Bank,” said Shaukat Tarin on the eve of the completion. “With a new management direction, we plan to create a strong institution. Our vision is to make the re-branded SPCB one of the top ten banks of the country in a period of five to six years.”


Commenting on the acquisition, Sheikh Abdul Malik bin Abdullah Al Khalili, Chairman, Bank Muscat, said, “Pakistan and Oman had historically longstanding economic and social ties. Our entry into the country is therefore both strategically and commercially important to us. We will be pleased to be of service to the local business community in Pakistan and hope that this move will further strengthen our ties with members of the community who are well settled across the GCC region. We definitely look forward to contributing significantly to the economic and social development of Pakistan.”


Michael Essex, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “We are confident that the new Saudi Pak management and team will deliver high-quality and innovative services to Pakistan’s consumers and that the bank will continue to play a key role in developing the country’s financial sector. Through our investment and advisory services, IFC seeks to improve access to finance to under-served people and to support and accelerate the process of consolidating the local banking sector.”


Yugo Ishida, CEO of Nomura Europe, said, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the consortium’s highly regarded bankers to develop Saudi Pak’s position in the local market and more broadly, to help strengthen Pakistan’s financial sector. Pakistan is a key global market and we believe its economic potential, including its growing financial services sector, will pay dividends for foreign investors like ourselves. This acquisition is part of our continuing commitment to develop our Asian and emerging market franchises and will allow us to gain a secure foothold into a dominant regional market.”


Saudi Pak was a subsidiary of the Saudi Pak Industrial & Agricultural Investment Company (SAPICO), a joint venture between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. On September 15, 2001, SAPICO acquired the institution formerly known as Prudential Bank with the aim of transforming the bank into a leading, dynamic and premier institution under the banner of Saudi Pak.


Saudi Pak offers corporate banking products and services as well as a strong suite of consumer and SME services. As of December 31, 2007, the Bank had assets of Rs54 billion and a deposit base of Rs42bn.