ADCB buys 25pc stake for $1.2b

ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has concluded an equity stake of 25 per cent in Malaysia’s RHB Capital Berhad (RHB Cap) from Employees’s Provident Fund (EPF) for $1.2 billion.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Fri 9 May 2008, 10:21 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:32 PM

The landmark deal, which will boost UAE-Malaysian economic, trade and cultural relations, has been concluded at a share price of RM7.20 ($2.237) per share, to make the total value at RM3.876 billion ($1.2042 billion). It is the largest ever investment by a Middle East investor into the Malaysian financial sector so far.

An agreement was signed yesterday at a high profile ceremony, on behalf of EPF by Tan Sri Samsuddin Oman, Chairman, and Datuk Azlan Zainol, Chief Executive Officer. ADCB was represented by Saeed Al Hajeri, Chairman and Members of ADCB’s board, and Alaa Eriqat, Deputy CEO of ADCB.

Attaching due significance, Abu Dhabi Government sent Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman, Crown Prince Court, Abu Dhabi, to Putrajayia to attend the signing ceremony in which Dato Sri Mohammed Najib bin Tun Abdel Razzek, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, and number of dignitaries were also present.

Strategic partnership: This landmark investment will pave the way for a strategic partnership between EPF and ADCB and drive RHB Cap’s ambition to become one of the top three financial service providers in Asean by 2020. Following this deal ADCB is set to become the second largest shareholder of RHB Capital with a 25 per cent holding. Post this sale, the single largest shareholder EPF will own about 57 per cent down from the 82 per cent stake it acquired after completion of a general offer for the banking group on July 18, 2007. The purchase process is expected to be completed soon.

Speaking at an event hosted by EPF to mark the occasion, Datuk Azlan Zainol said, “We are very pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with ADCB.” He said RHB Capital and ADCB will now be uniquely positioned to leverage on growing business flows between the GCC and Asean and strengthen both banks’ strategic position in the global Islamic banking market.

Promoting links: Saeed Al Hajeri said this acquisition enables both banks to promote the links between the respective countries and regions while generating significant value for stakeholders in the process due to inherent synergies. It is ADCB’s intention to support RHB Capital in its strategic agenda of being a top financial services provider in Asean.”

“The plan to double profit in three years is very attractive, very aggressive and very possible. My personal belief is that they will reach that target easily,” Al Hajeri said.

Long-term investor: He said that ADCB would be a long-term investor to the Malaysian economy. “In our assumptions we look at future value. That’s why we are not looking to make a quick buck. We are long-term investors,” he said.

“The goal is to become No 1 bank in South East Asia,” Al Hajeri said.

Eirvin Knox, CEO of ADCB, said the unique feature of this alliance between ADCB and RHB Capital is the remarkable similarity covering operational, product and strategic areas.

“Both institutions will benefit from the opening of new markets and new products and structures that can be offered to customers.”

CIMB Investment Bank Berhad is the advisor of ADCB and Goldman Sachs is the financial advisor of EPF.

Trade ties: The UAE-Malaysian trade relations span on centuries, which would be boosted by the deal. The official statistics indicate that the UAE exports to Malaysia amounted to $938 million against total imports of $2.3 billion in 2006.

The UAE is considered to be the largest oil and oil derivatives exporter to Malaysia with a share of 4.76 per cent of the Malaysian oil imports.

During the period 2000-06, the total Malaysian investments in the UAE amounted to around $119 million in various economic sectors such as financial services, insurance and real estate, where several Malaysian contracting companies are engaged in 22 landmark development projects, such as luxurious hotels and residential villas and buildings in Jumierah Palm and Reem Island.

The Malaysian contracting companies also play an important role in the construction of the Dubai International Financial Centre with total investments of $668.7 million.

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