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Dulthumun Leads Game-Changing Bank Acquisition



Dulthumun Leads Game-Changing Bank Acquisition
Image source: Defi Media

The Bank of Mauritius has granted a new license to Banque Patronus Limited, with Somduth Dulthumun among its directors. Dulthumun, a former president of the Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation, reportedly played a key role in connecting Habib Bank Ltd with foreign investors, facilitating the bank’s acquisition.

Banque Patronus Ltd’s Board comprises ten members, including five Mauritians. The new bank was incorporated on December 2, 2022, with its headquarters in Ebène. Banque Patronus Limited is the only shareholder, Patronus Wealth Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd, which was incorporated on May 11, 2022. It aims to serve high-net-worth individuals and specialize in private wealth management.

Patronus Wealth Holdings initially had interest in the license of the former BanyanTree Bank but shifted focus to Habib Bank Ltd’s commercial bank license. The Pakistani bank had been seeking a buyer for its Mauritian operations since 2021. In Mauritius, Habib Bank Ltd operates five branches.

Somduth Dulthumun acted as an intermediary to facilitate the acquisition of Habib Bank Ltd by foreign investors, including individuals from Dubai. The operation took a significant amount of time to finalize.

The new bank’s Board consists of five Mauritians and five foreigners. In addition to Dulthumun, other directors include Romesh Asitha Atapattu and Nikhilesh Rajendra Michael Pawar, who are also shareholders of Patronus Wealth Holdings. The Board aims to ensure the best execution and support for its clients.

Dulthumun has no political agenda in securing the bank license and was aware of the investors involved. He confirmed being a director of Banque Patronus Ltd. The incorporation of the bank was announced by the Bank of Mauritius on February 27, 2024. The establishment will begin operations in due course, with details to be announced.

It is known that the withdrawal of this banking institution from the Mauritian jurisdiction had been on the radar of the Pakistani banking group for some time, following the decision of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to fine Habib Bank Ltd $630 million in 2017 for serious compliance failures regarding regulations and sanctions related to money laundering.

A decision that ended its banking operations and heavily impacted the group’s finances. Subsequently, HBL implemented a strategy to geographically refocus its operations in around twenty countries globally and regionally.

Present in Mauritius since 1964, the Mauritian branch had assets of Rs 1.4 billion in December 2022. For the financial year ending at the same time, the banking institution recorded post-tax losses of Rs 58.8 million.

Founded in 1941, Habib Bank is, let’s remember, the first commercial bank in Pakistan. In 1970, it was nationalized before being privatized in 2003 after effective control was taken by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Banque Patronus Ltd is located on the 11th floor of Bramer House in Ebène. Patronus Wealth Holdings is based at Unit 5G, Hennessy Court in Port Louis. The goal is to become a leading player in wealth management, serving both private and institutional clients.

Somduth Dulthumun details the sale of Habib Bank Ltd to investors he was familiar with, stating it was not a political move. The BoM placed under conservatorship a bank interested in buying the former BanyanTree Bank to protect its assets.

Patronus Wealth Holdings has a dedicated platform for institutional and private clients, providing reliable support. Habib Bank Ltd had announced its search for a buyer in 2021. The announcement had been made on the Pakistan Stock Exchange website on February 19, 2021. Dulthumun played a crucial role in the acquisition process.

Banque Patronus Ltd was incorporated by Patronus Wealth Holdings on May 11, 2022. Saduthmun confirmed his role as a director in the new bank. Dulthumun has close ties to political parties in Mauritius. The new bank aims to provide top-notch wealth management services.

Somduth Dulthumun emphasized that his involvement in securing the bank license was purely motivated by his desire to see a foreign group take over the bank that was on the brink of closure. The new bank will cater to both individual and institutional clients. Dulthumun’s involvement in the acquisition process was instrumental in finalizing the deal.

The incorporation of the bank marks a new chapter in the financial landscape of Mauritius, with a strong emphasis on wealth preservation and efficient client support. Dulthumun’s pivotal role in the process showcases his expertise and connections in the financial sector, ensuring a smooth transition for the new bank.

Source: Defi Media / l’Express

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Dulthumun Leads Game-Changing Bank Acquisition
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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.