MNT-Halan acquires Pakistan’s Advans Microfinance Bank rephrase the title

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has approved the takeover of Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank Limited by MNT–Halan Pak B.V., a joint venture of a Dutch-Egyptian finance entity.

The agreement to purchase shares was reached in August 2023, and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) endorsed the acquisition in October 2023. Finalization of the deal awaited CCP’s approval and the fulfillment of certain prerequisites.

MNT–Halan Pak B.V., headquartered in the Netherlands, operates in Pakistan through its subsidiaries, Halan Wallet (Private) Limited and Halan Finance Limited. It is supported by MNT, a Dutch microloan company, and Halan, an Egyptian fintech startup, which merged in a share swap deal in 2021 to form MNT-Halan. This merger aimed at boosting digital transactions in the finance and payment sectors.

Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank Limited, a part of the international microfinance group Advans, plays an active role in Pakistan’s microfinance sector. Licensed by the State Bank of Pakistan on June 28, 2012, to operate in Sindh, its primary goal is to offer microfinance banking and associated services to economically disadvantaged groups, as outlined in the Microfinance Institutions Ordinance, 2001.

Despite its noble mission, Advans Pakistan reported losses of Rs 102 million in 2022 and Rs 256 million, following a profit of Rs 53.8 million in 2021. By September 2023, the bank’s total losses reached Rs 1.3 billion, accounting for over 65% of its share capital, marking it as a financial drain for the Advans Group.

The acquisition involves transferring 100% ownership of Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank Limited from Advans S.A. SICAR, a Luxembourg-based financial institution, to MNT–Halan Pak B.V. After a detailed evaluation of the pre-merger submission, the CCP determined the merger would not disrupt market competition, as there are no business overlaps between the entities involved.

This decision is crucial for Pakistan’s microfinance banking industry, vital for the nation’s financial inclusion efforts. The World Bank highlights this sector as serving 76% of all borrowers and accounting for a third of all agricultural loans.

Related Articles

Back to top button