The deal is expected to involve the bank, along with partners including Nomura Holdings, the investment bank, paying 27-28 rupees ($0.44-0.46) per share for stake, or $79m in total. The deal would value the Pakistani lender at $225m.

Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest bank, is embarking on a strategy to expand throughout the Gulf and South Asia because of increasing competition in its domestic market.

Saudi Pak Bank is the 18th biggest bank in Pakistan by market value, out of 25 banks in the world’s 6th most populous country.

Issa said the political situation in Pakistan had no effect on the bank’s appetite to enter the country’s banking market.