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Standard Chartered seals deal to expand in Pakistan

Asian-focused financial services firm Standard Chartered has cemented an agreement to buy a controlling stake in Pakistan's Union Bank, reports have suggested.

Just as Standard Chartered has turned its back on the opportunity to buy South Korea’s second largest credit card issuer LG Card, it has reportedly secured a deal to expand its Pakistani operations by acquiring control of the east Asian country’s sixth largest bank.

According to international reports and local media, the UK listed bank has finalized a deal to purchase 81% of Union Bank for approximately $414 million. Gulfnews.com has reported that sources close to the deal say a formal agreement will be signed in the next few days.

While the UK bank has failed to confirm the news, its CEO Mervyn Davies has spoken in recent days of his confidence of securing a purchase in Pakistan. Should the deal be realized, Standard would gain control of a bank with $2 billion in assets and a network of 53 branches.