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KARACHI: Noor Financial Investment, a Kuwait-based company, sold 34.3 million shares in Meezan Bank, reducing its stakes to 35.25 per cent, Meezan Bank CEO Irfan Siddiqui told Dawn on Thursday.

“International fund managers have bought these shares in pieces but selling reflects strong demand of the bank in international market,” said Siddiqui.

Noor Financial Investment raised $20.92m but it is still the single largest stakeholder of Meezan Bank while other major owners are Pak Kuwait Investment Company, holding 30pc shares, and Islamic Development Bank with 10pc.

“The share value of Meezan Bank is about Rs99 which is two and half times higher than the book value, reflecting skills of the management and the bank’s successful strategy,” said. Siddiqui.

He said international fund managers who bought the shares in Meezan would be helpful for the bank since fund managers provide important input regarding the performance.

Selling more than 5pc shares in any listed bank requires prior permission from the State Bank of Pakistan.

The CEO ruled out any possible change in the policies or directions of the bank, saying they have helped it to grow with a strong balance sheet.

Meezan Bank is Pakistan’s biggest Islamic bank with retail network of 601 branches in 150 cities across the country.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019