Gulf Investors are seeking pullout from Pakistan’s banking industry after holding a strong position for years in the banking sector of the country. Bank Alfalah (BAFL), Meezan Bank (MEBL), and Faysal Bank (FABL) are the three banks that are up for sale, as they are owned by Gulf Investors.
A major shareholder in Bank Alfalah is Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan who is a member of the royal family in Abu Dhabi. His investments in Pakistan come under Abu Dhabi Group. Other than this the group also own the internet service Wateen Telecom and a real estate company, Taavun. The group also sold its struggling mobile operator Warid to Jazz in 2015. Now due to the struggling phase of the company, it is looking to completely wind up its business in Pakistan and sale the Abu Dhabi Group’s shares in Bank Alfalah.
Furthermore, Meezan Bank is predominantly owned by a Kuwait based company Noor Financial Investments Company. The company owns 49% of Meezan Bank. Now they have publically announced that their shares in the bank are up for sale. In 2013, they also tried to sell Meezan Bank to Pakistan’s billionaire Habibullah Khan. But that transaction was not successful. State Bank of Pakistan blocked it as Khan was using an offshore firm for money transfer.
Coming to Faysal Bank, it began operations in Pakistan as small branch called Faysal Islamic Bank in 1987. It was Bahraini bank owned by the son of late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammad bin Faisal al Saud. The bank owner now wants to sell the bank. But as per the sources, they are asking for a ridiculously huge price. So maybe they are yet unsure whether they want to sell the bank or not.