AMMB proposes to take finance arm private

  • Business
  • Thursday, 26 Feb 2004

AMMB Holdings Bhd yesterday announced it was undertaking a restructuring exercise that would see the privatisation of its finance company AMFB Holdings Bhd and is proposing to list its investment banking group. 

AMMB said the exercise would be made tomorrow but did not give any other details. 

Shares in AMMB, AMFB and Arab-Malaysian Corp Bhd will be suspended on the MSEB until Monday following requests by the companies. 

Bloomberg news agency quoted a banker involved in the trasaction as saying that AMMB, Malaysia's fifth largest bank, plans to buy the 35.7% stake in finance unit AMFB Holdings Bhd that it doesn't own for as much as RM1.32bil. 

AMMB would offer cash and stock to buy the remaining shares in a transaction that values AMFB at about RM7 a share, said the banker, who declined to be identified. 

The acquisition will enable AMMB to combine the finance unit with its commercial bank and reduce costs by removing duplication of services and reducing costs. 

Amarjit Kaur, head of corporate services at AMMB, didn't return phone calls.  

AMMB plans to offer part of its stake in investment bank AmMerchant Bhd to shareholders after AMFB stops trading, according to the banker. The group might announce as early as this week a plan for an initial public offering by AmMerchant later in the year, the banker added. 

AMMB will be the second among Malaysia's 10 banking groups to combine finance businesses. Public Bank Bhd, the fourth largest lender, offered RM938mil in stock to buy 40% of Public Finance Bhd it didn't own in November 2002.  

 Stock Watch On AMMB Stock Watch On AMFB

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