Pakistani billionaire eyes majority stake in Dubai bank

Mian Mansha sees deal in “two to three years”, drops plan to buy Abu Dhabi Group’s stake in United Bank
Pakistani billionaire eyes majority stake in Dubai bank
Mian Muhammed Mansha said he is already in contact with groups over plans to take a majority stake in a Dubai bank
By Ed Attwood
Sun 15 May 2011 01:07 PM

Pakistan’s richest man, Mian Muhammed Mansha, is hoping to buy a majority stake in a Dubai-based bank within the next two or three years.

The businessman is chairman of Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB), Pakistan’s largest lender by market value, in which the Nishat Group conglomerate holds a majority stake.

“I would prefer to go through the acquisition route, although it has many pitfalls. I think there will be many institutions which need help in Dubai,” Mansha told Arabian Business.

“My idea is always to take a majority stake…but initially, we could even take a minority stake with an agreement with the sponsor that we would ultimately take a majority step. So it could be a two-step or one-step process. But we are on the lookout, yes.

“I think it should happen in the next two or three years, because we are already in contact with certain people in this market,” he added.

Mansha also said that he was also considering setting up a banking operation in Iraq.

However, the businessman indicated that the proposed acquisition of Abu Dhabi Group’s 21 percent stake in Pakistan’s United Bank had fallen through.

“There were considerations that it might raise some controversy, as it was the second and the third biggest bank together, and that it was too large,” he said.

MCB is already active in the Gulf via a subsidiary in Bahrain. The bank also has an office in Dubai with permission to carry out restricted banking.

The Pakistani bank saw a nine percent rise in net profits during 2010 to $198m.

The Nishat Group, which has assets valued at $5bn and which Mansha chairs, has operated an insurance company in the UAE under the Adamjee Insurance brand for 40 years.

The conglomerate has just launched its Nishat Linen textiles brand in Dubai, and is aiming for at least 20 stores in the Gulf region within the next two years.

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