RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Indonesia

Bank Rakyat Indonesia to divest stake in Bank Agroniaga

The move will enable public shareholders to control 20 percent of Agroniaga.

Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the country’s second largest lender by assets, is set to sell up to 14 percent of its stake in Bank Agroniaga in the next two years, seeking to boost the stock’s liquidity, an executive at Agroniaga said on Monday.

Marshal, president director of Agroniaga, a mid-size lender focused on financing agribusiness, said Bank Rakyat aims to sell a portion of its stake in the lender so that public shareholders can control 20 percent of Agroniaga. Marshal said that the sale would be in line with a request by the capital market regulator.

“We want to boost public investors’ ownership in Agroniaga as requested by the regulator and the Indonesia Stock Exchange [IDX] management,’’ Marshal told reporters in Jakarta.

Bank Agroniaga is currently held 79.78 percent by Bank Rakyat, 14 percent by a pension fund and 6.22 percent by public investors.

“BRI, as the controlling shareholder, has committed to sell some of its stake to the public next year and another portion of its stake in the following year,’’ Marshal said.

The Jakarta-based Bank Rakyat, which focuses lending on farmers and small and medium-sized companies, bought control of Bank Agroniaga in December. It paid about Rp 150 billion ($17 million) for the controlling stake. Many other Indonesian lenders, such as Bank Mandiri, have also acquired other smaller lenders in Indonesia to boost their businesses’ reach.

View the full story in The Jakarta Globe.

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