The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has given MCB permission to begin the due diligence process in order to buy 55 percent of Telenor Microfinance Bank’s sponsor shares (TMB).
On Monday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) received notice of the development.
“The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted MCB in-principle conditional approval to conduct due diligence for a potential transaction for the purchase of 55 percent of Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited held by Telenor Pakistan BV (which operates under the Easypaisa brand name),” according to the notice.
The MCB Board of Directors has previously given its in-principle permission to conduct due diligence for the proposed merger at its meeting on October 27, 2021.
The planned acquisition of a microfinance bank, according to MCB, is expected to bring correction to the microfinance industry with the help of a big bank.
The news comes only days after the central bank gave United Bank Limited (UBL) in-principle clearance to begin due diligence on Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited for the proposed acquisition of 55 percent sponsor shares in TMB.
Telenor Pakistan and Ant Group, a subsidiary of the Chinese Alibaba Group, are joint owners of Telenor Microfinance Bank.
Tameer Microfinance Bank was formed in 2005. In 2009, the bank created Pakistan’s first mobile banking platform, Easypaisa, which revolutionised the country’s digital payments. Ant Financial purchased a 45 percent stake in Telenor Bank late last year.
Telenor Bank, a pioneer in branchless banking with the Easypaisa brand, has grown its operations across the country with new offerings. By the end of September 2021, the bank had made a gross profit of Rs 1.245 billion, according to the financial statement.