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Noor’s stake sale in Meezan blocked

Kuwait’s Noor Financial Investment Company’s proposed sale of 49% stake in Meezan Bank of Pakistan has failed to materialise as the prospective buyer was not able to meet its standards for suitability. According to an official communiqué, the final agreement executed for the sale of the stake has been terminated due to inability of the buyer to obtain all the required regulatory approvals as stated in the agreement. It has also been reported that neither the buyer nor the seller would pursue this transaction as both parties had accepted the termination. In December 2013, Noor Financial had said it planned to sell its 49.1% stake in Meezan for $190 million. But, in March 2014, the State Bank of Pakistan blocked the deal mentioning that the prospective buyer had not met its standards for suitability. Ownership of Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest full-fledged Islamic bank, may be a sensitive issue for regulators as they seek to develop Islamic banking in the country.

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