Affin Holdings Bhd, which is ra-tionalising and streamlining its financial services operations, is in the preliminary stage of establishing a strong retail commercial bank and an investment bank.
Group managing director Datuk Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said Affin Holdings would tailor itself to meet the requirements under the Financial Sector Masterplan (FMSP) to enable it to remain relevant in the second round of banking mergers expected by 2005.
We believe Affin Bank, which is market driven, will be in a strong position to retain its anchor bank status when that happens, he told reporters after the AGMs of Boustead Holdings Bhd, Kuala Sidim Bhd and SCB Developments Bhd which were held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Lodin said Affin Holdings planned to have a strong retail commercial bank by merging its bank, Affin Bank Bhd, and financial arm, AffinACF Finance Bhd.
The merger exercise is slated for completion by the third quarter of this year.
According to Lodin, the group is also in the midst of establishing a strong investment bank by merging its merchant bank, stock broking company and discount house.
Affin Holdings is a 26%-owned associate company of Boustead, of which Lodin is also group managing director.
According to, Lodin ,Affin Bank is currently not in merger talks with other banking institutions.
Affin Bank and KAF group of companies had in January mutually agreed to end negotiations for KAF to buy a 30% stake in Affin Bank, he said.
Affin Bank has 84 branches with more than 300,000 depositors while AffinACF Finance has 56 branches nationwide.
On Affin Bank's loans growth this year, Lodin said it would be slightly affected by uncertainties over the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak and the war in Iraq.
Last week, Affin Bank president and chief executive officer, Raja Datuk Seri Aman Ahmad said Affin Bank was revising this year's loans growth projection to 4%-5% from the earlier 8%.
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