Aabar putting up for sale remaining 9.9% stake in RHB Bank

  • Business
  • Monday, 17 Jun 2019

RHB Bank is CIMB Research's top pick for the sector.

KUALA LUMPUR: Aabar Investments PJS is putting up for sale its entire 9.9% stake in RHB Bank Bhd.

Sources said on Monday Aabar, which is the indirect subsidiary of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. CIMB is undertaking the bookbuilding exercise.

Funds were likely to take up the block, comprising of 400.52 million shares, at around RM5.64 a share, sources said.

StarBiz reported in March this year, Aabar had disposed of a 3% stake or 191 million shares in RHB Bank at between RM5.43 and RM5.54 per share via a book-building exercise.

At midday, RHB Bank shares were down seven sen to RM5.63.

The Employees Provident Fund Board is the largest shareholder with 40.56% or 1.626 billion shares followed by OSK HOLDINGS BHD at 10.13% or 406.171 million shares.

Aabar was formerly owned by the Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle, International Petroleum Investment Corp, and later taken over by Mubadala under a restructuring exercise in 2016.

In line with Mubadala’s broader review of its portfolio, the entity has decided to pare down its stake in RHB Bank, which it viewed as a non-core asset.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported two executives linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) were convicted of financial crimes and sentenced to prison in Abu Dhabi.

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), set up by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to attract foreign investment, accumulated billions of dollars of debt after its 2009 inception and is at the centre of multiple investigations in relation to alleged corruption and money laundering.

IPIC and Aabar Investments last year alleged in a court filing that Goldman Sachs Group Inc paid bribes to former fund officials, who in exchange "agreed to manipulate and mislead IPIC and Aabar, and to misuse the companies’ names, networks, and infrastructures to further the criminal schemes and to personally benefit.”

Khadem al Qubaisi, who once headed Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), was handed a 15-year prison sentence and Mohammed Badawy al Husseiny, a US citizen who ran a subsidiary of IPIC, was sentenced to 10 years, according to the report.  

They jointly must pay about US$336mil, the WSJ reported, cited a statement from the emirate’s court.  

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