KARACHI - The SBP has granted the approval to Faysal Bank Limited and EFG-Herms Holdings to conduct the due diligence of the RBS-Pakistans operations, RBS notified KSE on Thursday. It may be mentioned that both parties had requested the State Bank of Pakistan last month to grant permission for commencing the due diligence of Royal Bank of Scotland -Pakistan. Soneri Bank Limited, Pakistans local bank on February 8, 2010 had also expressed its intention to buy major stakes in RBS. Chief Spokesmen SBP Syed Wasimuddin confirmed that Faysal Bank and EFG-Hermes have been obtained due diligence permission by SBP. However, the requisite application of Soneri Bank is under process and the central bank would give the due diligence approval to the interested bank soon once its application gets evaluated, Wasimuddin said. Faisal Bank is the medium-sized banks of Pakistan. According to a research analyst, if FBL successfully bids for the bank at US$87 million, which as of Sep 30, 2009 accounts would increase the FBL-book value from the current Rs20.9/share to Rs22.9/ share. On the basis of its loan book, the bank would become the seventh largest in the country. Analyst further said that FBL post acquisition total assets would rise to Rs255b, while total deposits and advances would rise to Rs182b and Rs145b respectively. This would result in the bank leapfrogging Habib Metro and Bank Al Habib to the ninth largest bank based on assets and deposits. The other bidder, EFG-Hermes is the premier investment bank in the Middle East and is recognized as the regions market leader in securities brokerage, asset management, investment banking, private equity, and research. The firm is listed on the Egyptian and London Stock exchanges and as at June 2008 had a market capitalization exceeding $3.5b. In 2006, net profit grew by 100pc to $123m and in 2007 grew a further 30pc to $160m.