Based in Bahrain, Ithmaar Bank is planning to open over 100 branches all over Pakistan in 2018 via its subsidiary Faysal Bank. The aim of adding so many branches is to make use of Pakistan’s low penetration rate of banking services. This is confirmed by a senior Faysal bank executive.
66% of Faysal Bank is owned by Ithmaar Bank. After this expansion in Pakistan, the contribution of Ithmaar Bank to the balance sheet of Faysal Bank is expected to grow.
Ithmaar Deputy Chief Executive Abdul Hakeem al-Mutawa said
“We are planning to be over 500 branches this coming year and are aggressive in this. Banking penetration is around less than 20% in Pakistan, so there are good opportunities to grow.”
The focus of Faysal Bank is mainly on corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking services.
As Ithmaar Holding the Ithmaar Bank’s parent company got listed on the Dubai Financial Market Al-Mutawa said,
“The listing is good news for the company for growth capital and we are well established now to approach the capital markets.” He also informed that the bank is not planning to raise funds via any loan or bond.
Al-Mutawa said that in Bahrain there are business growth opportunities. They can work in collaboration with the government to finance social housing. Currently, the bank has 16 branches there.
Bahrain’s Ithmaar Holding is thinking to sell its stake in Bahrain’s BBK BSC which is 25.4%. It has operations in Bahrain, Kuwait, India, and Dubai,
Al-Mutawa said,“The performance of BBK is very good and still part of the portfolio of IB Capital, and if there are opportunities to maximize shareholder value I’m sure the board will take those.”
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It is a good sign that the banking sector of Pakistan is growing. The fact that Faysal Bank wants to invest in Pakistan and open over 100 branches is quite encouraging. The customers will benefit from it and it will boost the economy of the country.