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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted its approval to Bank Alfalah Limited to commence due diligence of Samba Bank Limited.

BAFL, which is eyeing a majority stake in Samba, shared the development in its notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday.

“We refer to Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) public announcement dated 9 April 2024 in connection with its potential acquisition of 84.51% shares of Samba Bank Limited held by Saudi National Bank.

“We are pleased to inform you that the SBP has granted its approval to BAFL to commence due diligence of the target company,” read the notice.

Last month, BAFL submitted a public intention to acquire a majority stake in Samba Bank Limited.

“We would like to inform that M/s Arif Habib Limited, manager to the offer, has submitted the public announcement of intention to acquire up to 84.51% shares of the target company, held by Saudi National Bank, on behalf of the acquirer,” read the notice back then.

Back in 2021, Samba Bank had received firm intention from a consortium comprising participating members of the management of Samba Bank Limited, Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited, and Gulf Islamic Investment LLC to acquire control of 852.040 million voting shares, representing 84.51% of paid-up capital of the bank.

However, that deal did not pan out.

BAFL is one of the largest banks in Pakistan with a network of over 1,024 branches across more than 200 cities in the country, and an international presence in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, and the UAE.

SBP gives go-ahead for due diligence of Bank Alfalah Bangladesh to Bank Asia

Bank Alfalah posted a consolidated profit after tax of Rs36.09 billion during the year 2023, which is over 96% higher than its earnings in the preceding year.

The bank reported earnings per share (EPS) of Rs23.15 as compared to Rs10.38 in the same period last year.

However, despite higher net income, Bank Alfalah saw its profit fall to Rs9.93 billion during the quarter ended March 31, 2024, which is nearly 8% lower than its earnings in the same period of the previous year.

The decline in profit-after-tax (PAT) is attributed to much lower foreign exchange income, higher operating expenses, and increased taxation.

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