ISLAMABAD: On the request of the prospective bidders and an overwhelming response witnessed to the invitation of Expression Of Interests (EOIs) for the privatization of SME Bank Ltd., the Privatization Commission (PC) has extended the last date for submission of Expression Of Interests (EOIs) and Statement Of Qualifications (SOQs) to May 31, 2008. All other terms and conditions will remain the same. Earlier, the last date to receive EOIs & SOQs was May 17, 2008.
The Privatization Commission (“PC”) has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from reputed Pakistani and / or International parties / consortia who have an interest in entering the process towards acquiring 93.88% strategic shareholding in SME Bank Limited (“SME Bank”) along with transfer of management control to a strategic investor. The early submission of EOI will enable the interested parties to avail maximum time for the submission of Statements of Qualifications (SOQs).
SME Bank’s privatisation represents an attractive investment opportunity for investors interested in entering into the commercial banking market of Pakistan. SME Bank has an unrestricted commercial banking license covering banking activities in Pakistan. SME Bank is a public limited company, which was incorporated in Pakistan on October 30, 2001. At present, SME Bank has employee strength of approximately 630 permanent and contractual individuals and is operating through a diverse network of 27 branches, which include 13 active commercial branches.
According to JCR-VIS Credit Rating as on February 22, 2007. SME Bank was rated BBB for long-term and A-2 for short-term credits. SME Bank also holds a 73% share in SME Leasing Limited, listed on the Lahore Stock Exchange (“LSE”), which was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of SME Bank. The Salient Features of the transaction include divestment of 93.88% GOP shareholding along with transfer of management control. The SME Bank has an unrestricted commercial banking license. The potential buyer will have to retain the name ‘SME Bank Ltd.’ for one-year post privatisation.
The charter of SME Bank to be maintained for at least three years posted privatisation. The leasehold land appearing in the books will not be a part of the transaction and will be returned to the lessor before the sale. All permanent employees will be offered a severance package. GOP will keep the right to appoint at least one director on the board of directors of SME Bank post privatisation.
Detailed transaction structure and conditions form a part of the pre-bid documents that would be issued to parties with relevant credentials who submit a formal EOI and / or are pre-qualified parties as the case may be. All terms and conditions relating to privatisation of SME Bank shall be communicated to all pre-qualified bidders from time to time before the bid date. The PC has asked the potential parties to submit EOI including, Name & address of the party / consortium, Date and place of incorporation, Nature of business and other background information, Experience in the banking / financial sector, Audited Financial Statements and detail of ownership structure.-SANA