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Standard Chartered set to close Pakistan bank deal

London-based emerging markets bank Standard Chartered is close to acquiring a majority stake in Pakistan's Union bank, The Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported.

The newspaper reported that a deal could be completed this week and that an acquisition of this size, thought to be around 66%, would be the largest takeover of a Pakistani bank by a foreign investor.

Standard Chartered is believed to have completed its due diligence in the last few days, after beginning initial talks back in May.

The Telegraph’s report valued the 66% stake in Union Bank, Pakistan’s sixth- largest listed lender, at around GBP149 million. Standard Chartered is however expected to pay a premium for the stake, which could exceed its current market value.

The latest development follows reports from the Sunday Telegraph on July 16, claiming that Standard Chartered was preparing to go on a GBP3 billion acquisition spree over the next few weeks, in a bid to bolster its position in the Pakistan market. It is already the biggest foreign bank with 45 branches in 10 cities.