Published on June 2nd, 2009 | by Arsalan Mir5
Telecos Entering Banking Sector
Earlier it was just Telenor which acquired 51% stakes in the Tameer Microfinance Bank. Now Orascom (The group Mobilink is part of) a telecommunication company having no experience in banking, has also joined the race to win Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) operations in Pakistan, while June 5, 2009 has been set as last date for submitting offers for acquiring local assets of the London-based bank.
The State Bank of Pakistan on Friday allowed Orascom to conduct due diligence. Two largest Pakistani banks, MCB Bank and Habit Bank, are in the forefront to acquire the RBS operations. JS Bank, a relatively small bank, is also interested in buying RBS operations in Pakistan and is conducting due diligence. If JS acquires the RBS, it will suddenly put the JS Bank among the list of large banks operating in Pakistan.
Analysts believe that MCB Bank is the strongest candidate for the RBS and HBL despite being a heavy-weight could not go beyond a certain limit. However, JS Bank, which has strong financial backing, could try to get the RBS operations at the highest cost. With three Banks in the competition where does Orascom stand?
It must be noted here that Orascom (Mobilink) among the Telecos holds a strong interest of Mobile Banking scope in Pakistan and this move can make things easier for them.
Lets hope to see Mobile Banking in Pakistan soon.