RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia

CIMB's keeps focus on Asean amid RBS acquisition plan

CIMB Group’s Asian expansion plan will not be significantly impacted by its purported acquisition of Asian assets of the RBS.

“CIMB has its eyes set on being an Asean banking powerhouse and at the moment is focusing on its regional plans, namely to have operations in the Phillipines and Laos. If this materialises, it will have presence in the whole of Asean," said a banking analyst from MIDF Research.

“Besides this, it also has presence in China and Hong Kong in corporate and investment banking and if CIMB were to acquire RBS assets in these countries, there will be duplication in operations,’’ he added.

The only practical reason for CIMB to pursue RBS assets would be the acquisition price, which was below its par value, he said.

The Australian on Thursday reported that the CIMB Group was confirmed to be a buyer of Britain-based RBS Australia equity business. The group had won the bid against China International Capital Corp to acquire the Australian equity operations for US$50milion.

On the other hand, CIMB is now in talks with brewer San Miguel Corp for a stake in the Philippines’ Bank of Commerce and hope to conclude discussions in the first quarter this year. At the same time, it is also applying for a licence in Laos.

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