Malaysia agrees RHB Capital stake sale to UAE bank

ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) said it had won ministerial approval to buy 25 percent of Malaysia’s fourth-largest lender, RHB Capital, and could conclude the deal within a month.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 3 Mar 2008, 5:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:16 PM

The United Arab Emirates bank, the third-largest in the emirate of Abu Dhabi by market value, has been in exclusive talks with the Malaysian government’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) since December to buy a stake to enter the Southeast Asian market for financial services complying with Islamic law.

In February, it said it would pay about $1.2 billion for the stake.

‘We should close the deal within the next 30 days,’ Eirvin Knox, ADCB’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday. ‘The bank has a good footprint and a strong brand name ... Southeast Asia is a high-growth market.’

In statement later, the bank said the Malaysian Ministry of Finance had approved the purchase.

Malaysia’s Star daily reported on Monday ADCB would pay between 7.20 ringgit ($1.90) and 7.40 ringgit per share for the stake. That would value the stake at between $1.02 billion and $1.05 billion.

RHB Capital shares fell 1.21 percent on Monday to 4.90 ringgit, valuing the company at $3.34 billion, 25 percent of which is $834 million. RHB Capital officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

EPF, which took over RHB Group last March after beating rivals including Kuwait Finance House, wants to slash its stake in RHB Capital to 35 percent by July from 82 percent.

RHB has banking operations in Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. It has 280 retail banking branches, investment banking operations and an Islamic subsidiary that is the sixth-largest Islamic bank in Asia.

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