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Meezan Bank and Pak Oman Asset Management Sign Agreement!

March 5th, 2008

Pak Oman Asset Management Company Ltd. (POAMCL) and Meezan Bank have entered into a technical services and support agreement according to which Meezan Bank will facilitate POAMCL in the Shariah Compliant product development and structuring, research & training, conceptualization, documentation and financial structuring advisory services for their two upcoming Islamic funds.

Ms. Hina Ghazanfar, MD and CEO of POAMCL and Mr. Irfan Siddiqui President and CEO of Meezan Bank signed the agreement. Renowned Shariah scholar Dr. Imran Ashraf Usmani who heads the Shariah Advisory Division of Meezan Bank was also present on the occasion.

Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO of Meezan Bank, said that this agreement shows the immense growth and potential in the Islamic mutual fund industry and a very good trend of knowledge sharing by the experienced players with the new entrants. With this amalgamation of POAMCL’s fund management experience with Meezan Bank’s Islamic Finance knowledge and expertise, the upcoming Shariah Compliant funds of POAMCL will surely provide a very good investment opportunity for earning good Halal returns.

CEO and MD of POAMCL, Ms. Hina Ghazanfar, emphasized that this agreement will help to tap the potential gap in Islamic mutual fund industry. The collaboration of Meezan Bank, the pioneer and premium institution in Islamic financial products, and POAMCL with its strong roots in GCC countries and expertise in fund management will be able to cater both emerging Pakistani and developed GCC countries Islamic funds market. Although the Islamic mutual fund industry has shown tremendous growth in the last couple of years, only 6% of total mutual funds are Shariah Complaint, she added.

POAMCL, subsidiary of Pak Oman Investment Company Ltd, is about to launch two Islamic and one asset allocation open end mutual funds. This includes Shariah Compliant asset allocation fund and Shariah Complaint income fund and a conventional asset allocation fund. POAMCL already manages one open end and one closed end fund. POAMCL’s total assets under management are approximately PKR 3.7bn. JCR-VIS has assigned Management Quality Rating of ‘AM3+’ (AM-Three Plus) to POAMCL due to the good quality of its management.

Meezan Bank is the first and largest Islamic Bank of Pakistan with a 100-branch network presence strategically spread across 31 major cities in the country. The Bank has a cumulative annual growth rate of 60% over a period of 5 years and currently enjoys 40% market share in the Islamic banking industry. Meezan Bank has established a strong and credible management team comprised of experienced professionals, which have achieved a strong balance sheet with excellent operating profitability, including a capital adequacy ratio that places the Bank at the top of the industry, a long-term entity rating of A+, and a short-term entity rating of A1.