RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Malaysia

RHB still seeks for merger partner

RHB maintains interest in M&A even after Maybank and CIMB dropped the plan.

RHB Capital, Malaysia’s fifth largest lender, remains open to merger opportunities if the price is right, its chief said after two larger rivals scrapped plans to acquire it in a bid to create South-East Asia’s biggest bank.

RHB was earlier pursued by Maybank and CIMB, Malaysia’s top two lenders, and is expected to remain in the spotlight despite the failed bids as the authorities encourage consolidation to create bigger banks with the muscle to grab regional market share.

A potential merger with Maybank, CIMB or other lenders could be considered if valuations are right, RHB group managing director Kellee Kam told Reuters.

“We are happy with RHB’s standalone strategy, but if opportunities for M&A exist that outweigh a standalone strategy, then it’s something that can be evaluated,” Kam said.

“As we understand it, they (CIMB and Maybank) believed they couldn’t put together a compelling enough proposition for us to be able to continue our discussions.”

CIMB and Maybank called off separate merger plans with RHB last month after Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank sold its 25% stake in RHB to its sister company Aabar at RM10.80 ($3.61) per share.

View the full story in The Malaysian Star.

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