Banking system of Pakistan comprises of 38 Commercial Banks, 10 Microfinance Banks and 8
Development Finance Institutions. The banks/DFIs are operating with a network of 11,911 branches
across the country. Pakistani banks have international presence in 36 countries around the globe, in
almost all regional territories with 106 branches, 9 subsidiaries and 15 Representative Offices.
The financial system of the country is dominated by banking sector with private banks holding around
78% of the total assets of the banking system. Public sector banks and foreign banks hold 20% and 2%
share in total assets respectively.
To acquire Commercial Banking License and Microfinance Banking License, Banking Policy & Regulations
Department, State Bank of Pakistan may be contacted
Pakistan has been transformed into a country with liberalized Foreign Exchange regime to
attract Foreign Direct Investment in the country. Pakistan’s investment policy provides complete
freedom of investment and repatriation of profits/ dividends/ dis-investment proceeds to the
foreign investors in line with the overall investment policy of Government of Pakistan. The only requirement of SBP with respect to FDI inflows is the registration of FDI with SBP. A foreign
investor is free to repatriate profit/ dividend and orderly dis-investment proceeds at any point in
time without any approval from Central Bank. Further, with regard to portfolio investment,
foreign investors are allowed to make investment in Pakistani stocks, Govt. securities and
registered corporate debt instruments listed on Stock Exchanges in Pakistan through Special
Convertible Rupee Account (SCRA) opened with an Authorized Dealer (bank).
Existing outreach and penetration of financial services is low – 7 branches per 100,000 people
and 0.22 branches per 1,000 km and 226 bank accounts per 1,000 adults.
Opportunity of introducing innovative products and innovative banking such as mobile banking
Equity markets booming with Karachi stock exchange adjudged best stock market based on risk-
The first Investment Policy by Board of Investment (BOI) was given in 1997 which opened services, social, infrastructure and agriculture sectors for foreign and local investors. It was a major step forward for integration of Pakistan’s economy into international markets as prior to this policy; foreign investment was restricted to manufacturing sector only. The 1997 Policy laid a solid foundation for the gains in FDI inflows experienced over the subsequent decade.
Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan increased by 2761.10 USD Million in 2016. Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan averaged 2651.26 USD Million from 2010 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 3184.30 USD Million in 2010 and a record low of 2099.10 USD Million in 2012.
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