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Thu 25 May 2017 01:59 PM

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Kuwait's Noor said to mull sale of Pakistan bank stake

Noor Financial Investment Co is reportedly weighing sale of its 49% stake in Pakistan’s largest Islamic lender Meezan Bank

Kuwait's Noor said to mull sale of Pakistan bank stake

Kuwait’s Noor Financial Investment Co is weighing the potential sale of its 49 percent stake in Pakistan’s largest Islamic lender Meezan Bank Ltd, according to people familiar with the matter.

Noor hired investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG to explore options for the holding, including finding possible buyers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The stake has a market value of about $375 million at the current market price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. No final agreements have been reached with any of the parties and the plan is at an early stage, the people said.

The Karachi-based lender, which has more than 450 branches in the country, agreed to acquire HSBC Holding Plc’s local operations in 2014. Meezan shares have risen about 18 percent this year, giving the Islamic bank a market value of about $766 million.

Noor Financial invests in emerging markets, according to its website. A representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment, while Noor didn’t respond to requests.

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