Maybank and CIMB has yet to begin talks with key RHB shareholders as RHB submits application to central bank.
Malaysia's biggest lender, Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) , has hired Japanese investment bank Nomura to advise on its takeover bid for RHB Capital , which could create one of the largest banking groups in Southeast Asia, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said.
The appointment was expected after Nomura advised Maybank for its $1.4 billion takeover bid for Singapore stock broker Kim Eng earlier this year.
Nomura and Maybank declined comment.
Maybank and rival CIMB said earlier this week they had both received clearances from the Malaysian central bank to commence merger talks with RHB for a three-month period.
Shares in RHB, whose major shareholders are pension fund EPF and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) , were up 0.2 percent in late afternoon trade after surging to a record high of 10.4 ringgit earlier this week.
RHB Capital said on Friday it submitted an application to the country's central bank to commence merger talks with CIMB and Maybank.
The takeover talks came amid an ongoing stake sale by ADCB, which drew interest from Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Carlyle .
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