Noor Financial Investment Company

#Kuwait's Noor to Weigh Stake Sale of #Pakistan's Meezan Bank

#Kuwait’s Noor Financial Investment is considering the sale of its 49% stake in Pakistan’s largest Islamic lender Meezan Bank. The stake has a market value of about $396 million at the current market price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Noor Financial hired advisers to assess opportunities, but it has not tasked the consultants with either increasing or decreasing its stake in Meezan Bank. Shares in Noor Financial gained 5.9% by 12:30 p.m. in Safat, Kuwait, the highest since April 16. Meezan advanced 3.6% in Karachi trading to a record high.

No deal: ‘SBP has blocked sale of Meezan Bank’

Kuwait’s Noor Financial Investment Company said the proposed sale of its stake in Karachi-based Meezan Bank had been blocked by Pakistan’s central bank, which felt the prospective buyer had not met its standards for suitability. Little is known about the prospective buyer, identified only as Vision Financial Holdings Limited in a separate filing by Meezan Bank. Noor Financial said the prospective buyer would continue to seek approval from the regulator, with the offer set to expire on April 15, 2014. However, ownership of Meezan Bank may be a sensitive issue for regulators as they seek to develop Islamic banking in the country. Last December, Noor Financial said it planned to sell its 49.1% stake in Meezan for $190 million and expected to book a $24 million profit.

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