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Pak bank Faysal Bank to be Islamic bank

Karachi-based Faysal Bank will convert itself into a full-fledged Islamic lender as its majority shareholder, Bahrain’s Ithmaar Bank, looks to consolidate its business lines. Ithmaar, an Islamic retail bank, has a 67% stake in FBL and it wants to extract up to $35 million in savings from a turnaround plan after posting a net loss of 29.9 million dinars ($79.3 million) last year, against a loss of 10.1 million dinars in 2012. As of December, FBL had Pakistan’s second-largest Islamic banking window with 53 stand-alone branches. Its conversion would make its remaining 216 branches Islamic, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. Ithmaar will increase its control of FBL by adding two more members to its board, reaching a total of five members out of eight, including its president and chief executive. Ithmaar’s shareholding in FBL will remain unchanged. Last year, Ithmaar completed a merger with affiliate First Leasing Bank through a share swap agreement. In 2010, Ithmaar integrated its subsidiary Shamil Bank, while FBL acquired the Pakistani operations of Royal Bank of Scotland.

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