KARACHI:

Foreign investors have cancelled a planned deal for selling stake in a bank operating in Pakistan, saying they have decided to retain the shareholding “given the Pakistan banking sector outlook”.

“Saudi National Bank (SNB) is terminating the process for the sale of SNB’s equity stake in Samba Bank Ltd (SBL),” SBL Company Secretary Syed Ziaul Husnain Shamsi said in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday.

“The process has been terminated due to the considerable uncertainty in current market conditions.”

The Saudi strategic investor holds 84.51% shareholding in SBL. SBL’s share price dropped 8.97% (or Rs0.99) to Rs10.05 with trading volume of 807,000 shares on the PSX on Thursday.

“SNB has concluded that it will continue to retain its existing equity stake in Samba Bank Limited, given the Pakistan banking sector outlook,” SNB Managing Director and Group CEO Saeed Mohammed Al-Ghamdi added in the notification.

This (sell-off) process may have created uncertainty amongst some of its employees and stakeholders regardless of the outcome of the strategic review.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2022.

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