Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Summit Group is moving into the financial services sector with its purchase of a majority stake in both a leasing company and a local insurer.

The group bought 59 percent of the shares of United Insurance and 30 percent shares of United Leasing, group Chairman Muhammed Aziz Khan told The Daily Star, a local newspaper, on Tuesday.

“A memorandum of agreement was signed with Duncan Brothers, the majority shareowner of those two companies, on September 9,” Mr. Khan said. The deal may be final by November this year.

In June, the group also bought a majority of the shares of ICB Islamic Bank (formerly known as Oriental Bank limited) from a Malaysia-based financial group for $55 million.

Summit Group, one of the largest industrial-infrastructure organizations, has focussed on power generation. The group started business in 1972 as Sanguine Traders, a small trader of thermo-plastic moulding compounds.

More than three decades later, it controls more than 10 companies and employs more than 500 people.

BBN/SI/AD-15Sept10-1:21 am (BST)