RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

Maybank hopes Indonesia won’t change policy on foreign shareholding in banks

Maybank hopes Indonesian ruling on bank shareholding will not be detrimental to foreign investors.

The bank sees the possibility of Indonesia introducing foreign ownership restriction and compelling banks to reduce their foreign shareholding to below 50%.

Furthermore, such a move could pertain to limiting the extent of control by any single person or any single shareholder.

“We hope Indonesia would not change its policy on foreign shareholdings now. It has been liberal in the policy on foreign shareholdings in the past, in particular after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, when many banks were short of capital and had to be restructured. These banks were taken over by the Indonesian BankRestructuring Agency and include banks like BII," said Maybank president and CEO Datuk Seri Wahid Omar. “At that time, Indonesia welcomed foreigners and we hope it will not change the policy now that the situation is much improved."

Foreign banks command less than 30% of the Indonesian market compared with the more than 70% dominated by Indonesian banks.

The full story is available at The Star.

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