The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted in-principle approval to United Bank Limited (UBL) to commence the due diligence process for its proposed acquisition of 55% sponsor shares in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB).
The development was shared in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday.
"The SBP has granted in-principle approval to the UBL to commence the due diligence of Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited for the proposed acquisition of 55% sponsor shares in TMB, currently held by Telenor Pakistan BV (operating under the Easypaisa brand name), subject to the compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations,” read the notice.
Telenor Microfinance Bank is jointly owned by Telenor Pakistan and Ant Group, which is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group.
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% share of Telenor Bank.
Back in November last year, MCB Bank in its notice informed that it is going to conduct due diligence of TMB for a potential transaction of acquiring the targeted 55% shares in the microfinance bank.