Dubai:Sunday, February 29, 2004
Dubai |Staff Report | 29-02-2004
The Privatisation Commission yesterday formally granted the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), the rights to 51 per cent of the shareholding in Habib Bank Ltd against a committed investment of Rs22.4 billion ($389 million) in accordance with all statutory requirements and terms approved by the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation.
"This sale represents a very important step towards enhancing potential in the financial services sector and towards reinvigorating investment by those with a solid and proven interest in growing this country's economy," said Pakistan's Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Underlining the importance of a transparent process, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Privatisation and Investment said "privatisation of HBL is a manifestation of the government policy that underscores privatisation process in a fair and transparent manner, in the right way, to the right people, at the right price." The HBL transaction also highlights the level of professionalism and integrity the process has maintained.
"AKFED is committed to building on the strength of the premier financial institution in Pakistan and to extending its range of activities into new areas both in Pakistan and abroad," said Iain Cheyne, director of AKFED.
Habib Bank Ltd was incorporated in 1941 in Mumbai and moved its headquarters to Karachi in 1947 to become the first commercial bank to be established in Pakistan.
A pioneer in the introduction of new products such as automated teller machines (ATMs), and travellers cheques into the Pakistani market, HBL currently has more than 1,400 branches and is present in 25 countries on five continents.
It is the largest commercial bank in Pakistan with a customer base of over five million.
Pakistan's first commercial bank
• Incorporated in 1941 in Mumbai. Headquarters shifted to Karachi in 1947.
• First commercial bank to be established in Pakistan.
• Has more than 1,400 branches and is present in 25 countries.
• Largest commercial bank in Pakistan with a customer base of over five million.