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Report: Kuwait's Noor Financial in talks to sell part of Meezan Bank stake

Kuwait's Noor Financial Investment Co. is in discussions with six global investors to sell a combined 9.59% stake in Pakistan-based Meezan Bank Ltd., Reuters reported May 21, citing sources familiar with the matter.

New York-based Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., London-based RWC Partners Ltd. and Swedish asset management firm Tundra Fonder AB are among the interested buyers. Tundra Fonder already owns some shares in Meezan Bank via a Pakistan-themed fund.

In order to secure quick approval from the State Bank of Pakistan, none of the investors will purchase more than a 5% stake in the Islamic lender, one of the sources said.

The Kuwaiti company said in the week of May 14 that it has sought the banking regulator's approval to sell part of its 49.11% stake in Meezan Bank and that it was in preliminary nonbinding talks with an unnamed overseas company for a 9.59% stake in the lender.

Noor Financial's total shareholding is worth approximately $330 million based on Meezan Bank's market capitalization, Reuters said.