BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Malaysia

CIMB Group set for Asian expansion

One of Southeast Asia’s top-ranked and most aggressive banks is now in a position to challenge its larger western rivals in Asia.

The acquisition by CIMB Group Holdings Berhad of the corporate finance businesses of The Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong and China has helped CIMB extend its international reach after being Malaysia's top underwriter for equity and rights offerings in the past three years.

More important, the acquisition gives CIMB the scale to take on the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for Asia- Pacific deals, said Chief Executive Officer Nazir Razak. Last week, the bank completed the acquisition of most of the Asia-Pacific operations of RBS and injected a further £85.5 million into the business after paying£88.4million for the acquisition. The acquisition will complete the bank’s operations and help CIMB boost market capitalization to over US$31 billion by 2015. That’s about 75% more than its current value. CIMB aims to become one of the top three Southeast Asian banks by assets and return on equity.

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