World Economy

IFC to Take 15% Stake in Pakistan Bank 

IFC to Take 15% Stake in Pakistan Bank IFC to Take 15% Stake in Pakistan Bank 

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) will take a 15 percent stake in the paid-up capital of Pakistan’s Bank Alfalah, the Karachi-based lender said in a statement.

Under the agreement, which still requires regulatory approval, Bank Alfalah will issue shares to IFC valued at 28 rupees ($0.26) per share, while IFC has an option to buy additional equity of 5 percent before year-end, Arab News reported Sunday.

The statement did not give a monetary value for the transaction.

Setup in 1992, Bank Alfalah is Pakistan’s sixth-largest lender and operates the second-largest Islamic banking operation in the country.

In May, Pakistan’s central bank allowed IFC to conduct due diligence on Alfalah, owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Group.

IFC has been providing investment and advisory services to Bank Alfalah since 2007, and in April they launched a joint initiative to support small and medium-sized businesses.

As of June, the bank held 672.5 billion rupees ($6.6 billion) in assets and had 13.5 billion rupees worth of paid up capital.

It operates in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bahrain with a representative office in the United Arab Emirates.

Bank Alfalah, Pakistan’s largest issuer and acquirer of credit cards, announced recently an upgrade to its customer services and technology platform by commissioning a futuristic Cards Merchant Acquiring network for its credit cards.

This new network enhances the speed of credit card transactions being conducted at Bank Alfalah retail partner outlets, whilst doubling transactional capacity.

Bank Alfalah’s Group Head Retail (Central & North) and Consumer Banking, Khurram Hussain said, “This investment in strengthening our payments platform signals improved customer service through reduced turn-around time of credit card transactions at retail merchants, real time monitoring for prompt resolution of complaints and enhanced capacity to enable greater transactional volumes.

The Nilson Report, a leading publication covering payment systems worldwide for the last 42 years, ranked Bank Alfalah amongst the top merchant acquiring companies in the Middle East and Africa regions for the year 2012.

As Bank Alfalah looks to the future, it continues to innovate with the view to improving transacting convenience for its customers through 574 branches, 500 ATMs and doorstep banking facilities including mobile and internet banking.