Daim’s ICB Financial Group is highest bidder for Indon bank

By C.S. Tan

FORMER Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin and his company, ICB Financial Group Holdings Ltd (ICB), have been selected as the highest bidder in the sale of a 58.41% stake in PT Bank Bumiputera Indonesia Tbk. 

The tender offer for the divestment exercise, which closed on May 14, had attracted three bidders. 

ICB said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur that the company and Daim were informed of the results by state-owned investment company PT Danareksa yesterday.  

The acquisition of PT Bank Bumiputera Indonesia was in line with ICB Banking group's plan to expand it banking network to Asia, the statement said. Indonesia was identified as the first country to invest in. 

The group made it maiden investment in Indonesia through SORAK Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, the consortium formed to acquire PT Bank Internasional Indonesia last year. Apart from Indonesia, ICB said the group was actively looking at expanding to other Asian countries.  

Daim is the sole shareholder of ICB, an investment holding company incorporated in Switzerland and the vehicle through which he is consolidating his shareholdings in the banks he owns in Europe and Africa, known as the ICB Banking Group. 

To date, Daim has set up banks in seven countries – Hungary, Albania, Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania, Mozambique and Sierra Leone – and would open another in The Gambia later this year. In addition, he has submitted applications for banking licences in three other countries. 

Daim's interest in banks started in 1979 when he bought Malaysian French Bank (then known as Banque Indosuez) from its French owners. In 1984, he acquired a controlling stake in United Malayan Banking Corporation Bhd, then Malaysia's third largest bank. 

Upon his appointment as Minister of Finance that same year, Daim had to divest his interest in the bank. Upon his retirement, Daim acquired a stake in International Bank Malaysia Bhd – then Hock Hua Bank (Sabah) Bhd – in 1997 and once again had to divest it on his reappointment as Minister of Finance in 1999. – Bernama  

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