Orascom, 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 allowed Orascom to conduct due diligence, last Friday. Two largest Pakistani banks, MCB and Habib Bank are in the forefront to acquire the RBS operations.
The RBS had announced in March this year that it was divesting its interest from its operations in the Asian region, which include all assets and the undertaking of the RBS.
The RBS Pakistan is operating with 79 branches across the country. The bank’s advances reached Rs68 billion and deposits stood at Rs79 billion. The bank’s assets valued at Rs108 billion.
Orascom’s interest in RBS is due to its extra-ordinary interest in mobile banking in Pakistan. We know that for the same purpose, Telenor has already acquired 51 percent shares in Tameer Bank