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Noor’s Meezan Bank stake sale stopped

meezanKuwait’s Noor Financial Investment Co said the proposed sale of its stake in Karachi-based Meezan Bank has been blocked by Pakistan’s central bank, which felt the prospective buyer had not met its standards for suitability. Ownership of Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest full-fledged Islamic lender, may be a sensitive issue for regulators as they seek to develop Islamic banking in the country. In a bourse filing on Sunday, Noor Financial said the prospective buyer would continue to seek approval from the regulator, with the offer set to expire on 15 April. Little is known about the prospective buyer, identified only as Vision Financial Holdings Ltd in a separate filing by Meezan Bank. In December, Noor Financial said it planned to sell its 49.1 per cent stake in Meezan for $190 million and expected to book a $24 million profit.

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