RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia

Malaysia's RHB to complete purchase of Indonesia's Mestika by June

Acquisition of Bank Mestika by June.

This is RHB Capital Group's plan after a series of delays. 

RHB Capital managing director, Kellee Kam, said that it was consulting with the relevant authorities to complete the purchase of a 40 percent stake in the bank.

“RHB’s internal target is [to finish the acquisition by] June 2013, which is in accordance with the regulation that has been published,” Kam said.

Bank Mestika — based in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra — has 50 branches and six so-called cash offices across the country.

The acquisition will help drive Indonesia’s banking system forward and help with the central bank’s plan to reduce the number of the country’s lenders.

Bank Indonesia has been coaxing the nation’s 120 commercial lenders to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions in order to create a stronger banking system.

Indonesia’s banking system all but collapsed during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, and that prompted the government to spend more than Rp 450 trillion ($47 billion) to bail out some lenders.

RHB Capital said in June 2009 that it agreed to take control of Bank Mestika Dharma for Rp 3.12 trillion.

The group joins rival Malayan Banking and other Malaysian lenders in investing in Indonesia. RHB Capital has branches in Thailand, Brunei and Singapore.

Malayan Banking, Malaysia’s biggest lender, has a stake in Bank Internasional Indonesia.

Additionally, CIMB Group Holdings, another Malaysian lender, controls Jakarta-listed Bank CIMB Niaga.

RHB Capital is controlled by Malaysia’s largest pension, the Employees Provident Fund.

Indonesia has the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, and its growth is the second fastest among Group of 20 nations.

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