Chinese firm invests $40m in local finance company

Karachi: Asia International Finance Company Limited (AFIC), a leading Chinese business Group, has invested $40 million in KASB Finance Limited.

“The investment represents the first entry by a private sector Chinese firm in the finance industry in Pakistan,” a statement by the KASB Group released at the Karachi Stock Exchange, said.

It noted that AFIC was part of a business conglomerate which held significant interests in industrial concerns, mineral activities and financial services corporations among others in China and Asia.

“This investment would primarily be for raising the equity of KASB Bank in accordance with Capital Enhancement Plan disclosure of which has also been made in the Annual Report 2010 of the Bank, a covering note by the Bank said.

KASB Finance is the holding company of KASB group, which is a fully integrated financial services operation covering commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, funds management and securities trading amongst its interests.

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a business partner with KASB Securities since 1993 and BlackRock, with assets under management of over $4 trillion, is a shareholder in KASB Funds,” the Group observed.

The investment by AFIC was visualised as part of the company`s long term commitment to investing in Pakistan and a first step in an envisaged long term strategic relationship with the KASB Group, where the partners anticipate that Group companies would become significant financial players in Pakistan`s ever increasing trade with China and Asia and the expected influx of further investment from China.

Commenting on this investment Munir Saleem-acting President KASB Bank said: “This investment shall prove to be a landmark deal in reinforcing Sino-Pakistan relations in the investment and finance sector.”

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