Alibaba in talks with Telenor Bank to buy majority stake?

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A Pakistani media outlet released a news, suggesting Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Financial has “locked a deal” with Telenor Bank and is “looking at 40% shares” in it.

Ant Financial is an affiliate company of Alibaba Group and is considered the most valuable fintech company in the world.

Jack Ma’s Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce player, is evaluating its options to enter the Pakistani market, it claimed.

“Ant Financial will be investing in Telenor Bank, primarily to introduce its payment gateway in the country,” it further mentioned.

However, a prominent technology website TechJuice reached out to Telenor Bank whose representative denied the news.

Subul Naqvi, from Telenor Bank’s Corporate Communications division, said that they “have no information regarding any such deal between Alibaba and Telenor Bank.” She declined to comment when asked whether Alibaba had approached Telenor Bank for related discussion.

Another rumour suggests Alibaba’s plans to buy Daraz. If the Alibaba does end up acquiring all, or a chunk of Telenor Bank, it would ease its transition into the Pakistani e-commerce scene.

It is pertinent to mention here that Telenor Bank was recently renamed from Tameer Bank after Telenor Group bought cent percent stakes in it.

Telenor group had previously bought 51 per cent stakes in Tameer Bank in 2008.

After completing the full acquisition, Telenor group renamed the bank to Telenor Bank and brought Easypaisa—Telenor Pakistan’s flagship product—under Telenor Bank.

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