In a ‘season of mergers and acquisitions’ in the Nepali banking sector, the proposed acquisition of Civil Bank by the Himalayan Bank Limited (HBL) has moved further ahead with the former’s annual general meeting (AGM) approving the swap ratio.
The Civil Bank’s 12th AGM on Thursday endorsed the swap ratio of 100:80 that the two banks had agreed earlier. This means 100 shares of Civil Bank will get converted to 80.28 shares of Himalayan Bank after the acquisition.
According to Pratap Jung Pandey, Chairman of Civil Bank, the unified business will be started within Magh after getting final approval from the Nepal Rastra Bank.
For Himalayan Bank, the acquisition has become a sort of a matter of reputation, following the failed merger attempt with Nepal Investment Bank last year. Himalayan Bank started an initiative to acquire another commercial bank after its merger with Nepal Investment Bank Limited (NIB) got derailed at the final stage.
The HBL-NIB eight months long merger process was aborted after the 29th annual general meeting (AGM) of HBL held on January 14, 2022, disapproved the plan of merger with NIB. Only 43.63 percent voted in favor of the merger while 42 percent came against the merger. As per the rules, a merger proposal will only be passed after 75 percent of the shareholders of the bank approve it. Three major shareholders of the HBL – Employees’ Provident Fund, N Trading Company, and Chhaya International- stood against the merger.
With Nepal Rastra Bank continuously pushing the HBL for the merger, the bank on July 13, 2022, signed an acquisition MoU with Civil Bank.
BFIs number declined by 183 in the past decade
The number of banks and financial institutions (BFIs) has declined by 183 in the last one decade after NRB announced its merger and acquisition policy. The number of BFIs that stood at 303 in 2012 has come down to 120 as of January 11, 2023.
Following the merger, a total of 10 commercial banks, 75 development banks, 61 finance companies, and 37 microfinance institutions have merged with other financial institutions. In 2022, 32 commercial banks, 92 development banks, 78 finance companies, and 111 microfinance institutions were operating in Nepal. Currently, this number has been reduced to 22 commercial banks, 17 development banks, 17 finance companies, and 64 microfinance institutions.