SBP allows Meezan Bank to acquire HSBC Bank Oman
KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan has given green signal to Meezan Bank to acquire HSBC Bank Oman (HBON), an indirect 51 percent owned subsidiary of HSBC Holding Plc. The bank was given permission to conduct due diligence in November 2014 which was successfully done including Sharia compliances. Meezan Bank intended to expand its business globally with acquisition of the shares in the international financial group HSBC Holding. In October 2014, the bank successfully acquired HSBC Pakistan's operation in accordance with Sharia guidelines including assets, deposits, customers and branches network. The bank has become renowned to convert to conventional banks into Sharia mode including Pakistan operations of Society Generale (SG) - the French bank and HSBC Pakistan.
Meezan Bank has been the undisputed leader of Pakistan's Islamic banking industry for well over a decade and has always followed the strategy of aggressively expanding its branch network. Starting with a network of six branches in four cities, 12 years ago, the bank now has a network over 450 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan, and has the country's eighth largest branch banking network. The bank is also Pakistan's 11th largest bank in terms of deposits. The bank's deposits and branches have grown at an average rate of approximately 50% per year over the last 11 years. Meezan Bank has never posted a loss in its entire 12 years of operations despite the challenging financial environment that has pushed the bottom line of many reputable banks into the red. The bank announced Rs. 2.67 billion profit for the half year ended June 30, 2015. Earning per share of the Bank remained Rs. 2.67 (June 2014: Rs. 2.25). Deposits of the Bank increased by 14% from Rs. 380 billion in December 2014 to Rs. 435 billion in June 2015. As a result of the strong profitability, the Board of Directors approved an interim cash dividend of Rs 1.75 per share (i.e 17.5%), maintaining the Bank's unbroken payout record since its listing on the Stock Exchange in the year 2000.