TRADE FINANCE | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

CIMB eyes second listing in Indonesia after Malaysia

CIMB plans to be listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, though currently it is only listed on Bursa Malaysia.

CIMB Group chief executive Nazir Razak said he wanted CIMB Group to be the first company, legally incorporated outside Indonesia, that would list its stocks at the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Under existing Indonesian regulation, companies that are legally incorporated outside Indonesia are not allowed to list their shares on Indonesia’s exchange. On the other hand, Indonesian companies are not prohibited from listing in overseas markets.

A plan to allow foreign companies to list in Indonesia has been delayed for around two years due to legal barriers and accounting matters.

Nazir was speaking on the sidelines of CIMB Asean Conference 2012, at the end of a two-day forum that invited executives from various financial companies in Southeast

Asia. The forum discussed the role of private sector in the region to drive the economic integration in 10-member countries of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“CIMB is clearly today the most Asean company there is, in terms of earning complexion, in term of management staff integration,” Nazir claimed, adding that the lender

also aims to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Indonesia and Thailand are the two biggest economies in Southeast Asia.

“Banks are the fuel for that to happen, so this framework is very crucial. We should have had this five years ago,” he said.

In regards to the conference theme, Nazir called on the central banks in the region to synchronize banking regulations.

“There are no such thing as Asean when you go to the central banks today. Asean means nothing. It’s either local bank or foreign bank. This is my big grief,” he said.

Nazir’s comments echoed Bank Mandiri’s frustration to open branches in other Asean countries such as in Malaysia and Singapore. Zulkifli Zaini, Bank Mandiri’s

president director, reiterated his frustration with neighboring countries for not giving Indonesian banks the same flexibility given to foreign banks operating in

Indonesia, especially with regard to licensing.

Indonesia’s central bank currently allows foreign lenders to operate on a single license. For example, an overseas bank that operates as a commercial lender must get

approval from the central bank, Bank Indonesia, for another license for micro-lending.

“In Indonesia, we think it’s not fair. There should be reciprocity,” he said in a conference on Wednesday. Bank Mandiri aims to be among the top five banks in Asean by 2014, in terms of market value.

Analysts said the banks’ eagerness to conquer the region is reasonable given its shining economic growth and young population, at a time when Europe is embroiled in debt crisis and the US economy is slowing. The entire population of the Asean region is now close to 600 million and the average income per capita is around $3,100 per year.

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