INVESTMENT BANKING | Tony Chua, Malaysia

RHB-OSK merger yet to get Bank Negara’s nod

Analysts believe Malaysia’s central bank’s approval will come if it will be supportive of consolidation of the banking sector.

It has been seven working days since RHB Capital Bhd (RHB Cap) and OSK Holdings Bhd requested Bank Negara's approval to commence merger talks but no one is any wiser on how the central bank will decide on this.

With no “green light” yet from Bank Negara, the market is having to second guess if and when the two parties will be able to start negotiations.

Bank Negara has yet to respond to a query from StarBiz on this matter.

In the past, the central bank has allowed some negotiations to go through while rejecting others. For example, in the case of Hong Leong Bank Bhd, the central bank gave the nod for the bank to start negotiations with EON Capital Bhd (EON Cap) but applications of Affin Holdings Bhd and Mulpha International Bhd were rejected.

The central bank said it was “unable” to consider Affin's application to start negotiations with EON Cap and its major shareholders while Mulpha's application was rejected outright.

Affin had on May 4, 2010 submitted an application to Bank Negara to seek its approval to commence negotiations with EON Cap, only to receive a reply from the central bank a month later.

View the full story in The Malaysian Star.

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