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Thursday, 16 August 2007

Noor Financial doubles stake in Pakistan bank

Kuwait's Noor Financial Investment has agreed to more than double its stake in Meezan Bank, Pakistan's first fully fledged Islamic bank, a top official of the Pakistani lender said today.The 2.3 billion rupees ($38 million) purchase, at 32 rupees a share, will take Noor Financial's stake in the Pakistan bank to 35%, said Irfan Siddiqui, president of Meezan Bank.Under Pakistani law, Noor Financial will have to make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares in Meezan Bank. Noor Financial agreed to buy around 19% of shares of Meezan Bank from Shamil Bank of Bahrain taking its shareholding in the bank to 35% from 16%.Shamil Bank of Bahrain's stake will be cut to 7%."Though Meezan Bank is not directly involved in the transaction, we understand that Noor Financial's lawyers have advised them to go for a tender offer now," said Siddiqui. Meezan Bank reported a net profit of 190.6 million rupees for the quarter ended on March 31, 2007. - (AB, 16 Aug 07)

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