19 EoIs received for Habib Bank sell-off

KARACHI (July 03 2003) : The Privatisation Commission (PC) has received 19 Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Habib Bank Limited (HBL) intended sale of 26 percent to 51 percent stake of its shareholding from reputed international and Pakistani parties (solely, or participating in a consortium).

The terms of sale include the transfer of management control of HBL.

The remarkable and encouraging response is the result of personal interest and hectic efforts by Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Privatisation and Investment, and his team which has attracted an unprecedented number of EoIs for such a potentially large transaction.

The investors who have expressed interest for HBL include parties from Canada, Europe, UK, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Yemen along with domestic interest.

In the light of the fact that the Privatisation Commission is processing HBL transaction in-house without hiring services of a 'financial adviser', the level of interest generated is highly commendable and is a testament to the efforts being undertaken to market Pakistan as an investment haven.

Pre-qualification documentation detailing the information required for screening interested parties and a preliminary information memorandum is being provided to all those parties who have submitted EoIs.

HBL is Pakistan's second largest commercial bank, having a large countrywide and international branch network.

HBL has full service licence covering commercial, retail banking, consumer and investment banking activities in Pakistan and most of the other countries where it is present.

HBL has an extensive domestic network of 1,425 branches with market share of approximately 20 percent.

HBL operates a large international network of 48 branches in 26 countries spread over Europe, the Middle East, Far East, Asia, Africa and the United States.

It operates three wholly owned subsidiaries, namely Habib Bank Financial Services (PVT) Ltd, Karachi, Habib Finance International Ltd (Hong Kong) and Habib Finance Australia Ltd, Sydney; two Joint Ventures namely Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd (40 percent) and Himalayan Bank Ltd (20 percent).

In addition, the Bank owns 90.5 percent shares in Habib Allied International Bank Plc, a bank incorporated in the UK. HBL also has 2 representative offices in Iran and Egypt.

It is envisaged that once the selection of pre-qualified potential investors has been made, participants in the process shall be provided with additional information on HBL whereupon the PC, together with its appointed Advisors A.F. Ferguson & Co and Legal Advisors Haidermota & Co shall commence with a competitive bid, negotiation and sale process in accordance with the privatisation laws of Pakistan.

An extensive streamlining and restructuring programme is concurrently being implemented by HBL management towards the preparation for the privatisation of the bank.

HBL privatisation represents an attractive investment opportunity for investors interested in leveraging HBL's extensive presence and market share.

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