Pakistan’s Arif Habib group keen to expand in Sri Lanka: official

Mar 28, 2013 (LBO) – Pakistan’s Arif Habib group which has a stock brokering unit in Sri Lanka is planning to expand into commodities and trade consultancy which can boost bi-lateral trade, an official said. The group has put an application to start a physical wholesale commodity business and bring in one million US dollars.

“We have written to the Central Bank to bring in money to start a wholesale commodity business,” Naushervan Beg, who heads Serendib Stockbrokers, a unit of Arif Habib group said.

“We have dedicated commodity specialists in Pakistan who would handle that.”

Arif Habib group which started as a stock brokering firm in 1994 in Pakistan has later expanded into asset management, corporate finance and has acquired interests in cement and fertilizer plants and real estate and grown into a 600 million US dollar business.

The idea was still in the preliminary stages, and the commodity business if permission is given, would involve physical storage and trading, will be a separate business, if authorities give permission, he said.

A related group company, Thatta Cement is planning a cement bagging plant in the Hambantota port.

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