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WHOLESALE BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia
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Philippines' SMC to finalize bank sale to Malaysia's CIMB

San Miguel Corp is close to selling 60 percent of its Bank of Commerce to Malaysia's CIMB Group.

 

The two groups have agreed on a final price, according to Jose Pardo, chairman of Bank of Commerce.

The deal, expected to be finalised this month, will provide San Miguel with fresh funds to close its $610 million purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp's Malaysian assets, or to invest in new acquisitions such flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc .

"I think it's nearing completion; it's almost there," said Pardo.

"It looks like they have agreed (on a price) already, but it hasn't been presented to the board yet."

Pardo said that the parties wanted to deal the maximum stake allowed, which is 60 percent.

He added that it is now up to the bank's shareholders to seal the deal.

CIMB would be buying a portion of the San Miguel group's stake in the bank totalling 76 percent and some shares from minority shareholders.

After the deal, San Miguel's holding in unlisted Bank of Commerce will fall to 30 percent, while minority shareholders will be left with 9-10 percent.

In January, CIMB Chief Executive Nazir Razak said he expected to complete talks to buy a stake in Bank of Commerce in the first quarter as the group expanded its presence in Southeast Asia.

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