The government of Pakistan has sold its entire stake in Habib Bank, the country’s largest private-sector bank by asset, for $1.02bn.

The government has divested 609 million shares or 42% stake at a strike price of PKR168 (about $1.68) per share as against the floor price of PKR166 or $1.66.

Privatization Commission chairman Mohammad Zubair said: "It was an international and domestic offering and we received tremendous response from both the markets.

Pakistan will be richer by around over a billion dollars due to this transaction and the bulk of money, more than 764 million dollars, is in foreign exchange."

The sale comprise a part of Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plans to privatise 68 public companies including two gas companies, an oil company, about 10 banks, the national airline and power distribution companies.

According to the government, the sell-offs will prevent further losses and stabilise the country’s economy, crippled by power shortages, corruption and militant violence.

Habib Bank is 51% owned by the Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development and 7.5% by private investors.