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KARACHI: In a major development in the banking sector, MCB Bank is intending to acquire majority stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank.

According to a notification issued to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), MCB Bank is going to conduct due diligence of Telenor Microfinance Bank for a potential transaction of acquiring the targeted 55 percent shares in the microfinance bank. The proposed acquisition of microfinance bank is likely to bring correction in the microfinance sector with the support of a major bank.

According to MCB Bank announcement, subject to permission granted by the State Bank of Pakistan and any other regulatory bodies, the Board of Directors of the MCB Bank in its meeting on October 27, has accorded it’s in-principle approval to conduct due diligence of Telenor Microfinance Bank for the purchase of 55 percent shares held by its parent company Telenor Pakistan, (operates under the brand name of Easypaisa).

Telenor Microfinance Bank was established in 2005 as Tameer Microfinance Bank. In 2009, the bank launched Pakistan’s first mobile banking platform Easypaisa, transforming digital payments in the country. Late in 2018, Ant Financial bought 45 percent share of Telenor Bank.

Purchase of 55% shares in Telenor Microfinance Bank: MCB Bank approves due diligence

Introduced as a branchless banking, being a pioneer with the brand of Easypaisa, Telenor Bank has expanded its businesses countrywide with innovative services. According to financial statement, the bank earned a gross profit of Rs 1.245 billion by the end of September 2021.

MCB Bank is the second largest bank in terms of network. The bank maintained an expansion approach to scale up its operations. It not only acquired and merged the operations of NIB Bank in 2016 but it also set up a subsidiary of specialized banking unit, MCB Islamic Bank. The commercial bank also expressed its intention to acquire SME Bank but the plan was revoked later on.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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