Maybank: M&A is option for regional expansion
- Published: 15/10/2012 at 08:22 AM
- Online news:
Malayan Banking Bhd., Malaysia’s largest lender, is considering options for expanding in Thailand including takeovers after raising 3.66 billion ringgit ($1.2 billion) this month to boost its presence in Southeast Asia.
“There are a number of options we are assessing at the moment,” Chief Executive Officer Abdul Wahid Omar, 48, said last week in an interview in Tokyo.
"Our default position is to look at opening a branch there by 2014, but if there are other interesting opportunities we’ll be open to look at them."
Malayan Banking, also known as Maybank, is competing with Southeast Asian rivals that are reducing reliance on their home markets through acquisitions in the region’s faster-growing countries. The company, which already controls PT Bank Internasional Indonesia and owns smaller stakes of lenders in Vietnam and Pakistan, bought Singapore brokerage Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. last year.
Maybank earned 28% of pretax income from overseas operations in the first half of this year and plans to generate 40% of operating profit from abroad by 2015, Wahid said last year, adding that he wants the bank to enter all of Southeast Asia’s major markets by then.
"It is our intention to have a full presence across all the 10 countries in Southeast Asia," Abdul Wahid said in an interview on Oct. 12. “Within that context, the idea of raising additional capital is meant to enable us to grow a bit more aggressive in markets like Indonesia, the Philippines and later possibly into Singapore.”
Abdul Wahid, who was attending the Institute of International Finance’s annual meeting in Tokyo, reiterated that proceeds from its Oct. 8 share sale are not meant for making a bid for Bank of Ayudhya Plc in Thailand.
General Electric Co. said last month that it’s reviewing options for its remaining stake in Bangkok-based Bank of Ayudhya after selling an initial 7.6 percent. Singapore’s Oversea- Chinese Banking Corp. and Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. are considering bidding for the stake, people familiar with the matter said Oct. 5.
Other banks on the takeover path in Southeast Asia include DBS Group Ltd., the region’s biggest lender. DBS said on April 2 that it offered to buy PT Bank Danamon Indonesia for about $7.2 billion.
CIMB Group, Malaysia’s second-largest lender, in May agreed to buy a 60% stake in Bank of Commerce in the Philippines after making acquisitions in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore over the last seven years.