CCP okays merger within cross-border remittances and currency exchange business

ISLAMABAD    -  The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has approved a merger within the cross-border remittances and currency exchange business. The approved transaction entails the acquisition of certain assets of M/s Wall Street Exchange Company (Pvt.) Ltd (WSE) by M/s UBL Currency Exchange (Pvt.) Ltd (UCE) pursuant to letter of intent (LOI) and later through asset purchase arrangement (APA). M/s UCE, a Pakistani private limited company and recently incorporated as currency exchange company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Bank Limited. Whereas, WSE is a private limited company that started its operations in December 2003 after getting license from State Bank of Pakistan. M/s WSE’s prime business involves remittance related facilitation to individuals and corporate entities. In terms of proposed transaction, M/s UCE intends to acquire certain assets of M/s WSE involving immovable properties, employees, commercial agreements and essential assets ranging from computer hardware to equipment and vehicles. The CCP’s Phase I competition assessment identified ‘Currency Exchange and Money Transfer’ as the relevant product market. CCP’s analysis further confirmed that WSE has distinct market shares in Currency Exchange and Money Transfer markets. However, these market shares will be renewed as M/s UCE would take a fresh start in the relevant markets. It is pertinent to mention that the transaction is in-line with the regulatory mandate from the State Bank, aiming to regulate the currency exchange sector and stabilize exchange rates, ensuring a balanced approach to market competitiveness and integrity. With this approval, CCP expects an improved access to financial services vis-à-vis foreign and local remittances that cater the legitimate currency exchange needs of the general public.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt