Why does the JS Group want to buy BankIslami?

Already the largest shareholders in the Bank, Jahangir Siddiqui and Co are looking to takeover Pakistan’s oldest Islamic Bank as Shariah-compliant banking continues to gain ground

Once poised to become one of the biggest Islamic Banks in Pakistan, BankIslami is now at a crossroads. On the 15th of November, one of the bank’s major shareholders, the JS Group, announced its intention to acquire 51% shareholding in the bank and consolidate its control. 

So why is the JS Group now looking to acquire BankIslami and take over its management? For starters, there is the very real wave of Islamic Banking that has overrun the industry in Pakistan. The rise of Meezan Bank and pivots towards providing Shariah compliant services by others such as Faysal Bank have all pointed towards a huge market that is growing and gaining more ground every year. On top of that, for nearly two decades now, BankIslami has been run by multiple large shareholders and the resulting inefficiencies have cripple its decision-making and stunted its growth.

With the incumbent government also announcing its intention of moving towards an interest-free banking system, the field is changing rapidly.  A day after the public announcement of intention (PAI) was submitted by Next Capital Limited,  both BIPL and JSBL confirmed the acquisition announcement. However, the final sale will be made after approval from the state bank.

 

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Muhammad Raafay Khan
Sector Analyst for Profit Magazine. Focus on corporates on the PSX. Can be reached at [email protected]

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