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Akhund Forbes acts as legal counsel on Pakistan's largest ever global equity offering

Akhund Forbes acted as Pakistani law counsel to Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Arif Habib Limited and Elixir Securities Pakistan in the secondary offering by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan of 609,317,135 shares in Habib Bank Limited. The shares were offered in the United States under Rule 144A and outside the United States (including in Pakistan) under Regulation S.

HBL is the largest bank in Pakistan with a balance sheet of over $18.6 billion and has shares listed on the Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore stock exchanges. The bank has 1,596 branches in Pakistan and an international network spread over 29 countries.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan owns a minority interest of 41.5% in the bank and will sell substantially all of its stake for $1.02 billion. The offering is part of Pakistan's privatization and asset sale program which is aimed at decreasing the country's fiscal deficit and boosting the country's foreign exchange reserves. The offering is reportedly Pakistan's largest-ever equity offering to domestic and foreign investors which attracted substantial interest from international investors.

The Akhund Forbes team was led by Managing Partner Rabel Z. Akhund and Partner Sahar Iqbal assisted by associates Hannia Dawood and Waqar Ahmed. Akhund Forbes worked closely with the transaction's English and US law counsel Cleary Gottlieb.

Commenting on the transaction, Managing Partner Rabel Z. Akhund said:

"It is a source of great pride for Akhund Forbes to have acted as legal counsel on this historic and landmark transaction of national importance to Pakistan.  The transaction symbolizes the breadth and depth of expertise at Akhund Forbes and the ability of its lawyers to deliver on mega cross border transactions.  We also expect that the HBL transaction will lift sentiments for foreign investment into Pakistan and boost our economy."

Partner Sahar Iqbal added:

"Successfully delivering as legal counsel on the largest ever capital markets offering connected with Pakistan further strengthens Akhund Forbes' status and ranking as a top-tier corporate finance law firm, and the confidence of its clients in the skills of its lawyers required to complete complex and multi jurisdictional transactions.  The HBL transaction is a significant national achievement and is likely to accelerate the country's economic growth and attract positive global attention to Pakistan."



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© 2009 Akhund Forbes