MBSB on track to becoming full-fledged Islamic bank
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is another step closer to becoming a full-fledged Islamic bank.
Its president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman said its planned merger with Asian Finance Bank (AFB) would likely go through this time around as it was “less complicated”.
Negotiations over the proposed merger were expected to be concluded next month after submission of the paperwork to Bank Negara Malaysia, he said at a press conference after MBSB’s annual general meeting, here, yesterday.
“The discussion has been ongoing for five months now. The merger is the best option for us as Bank Negara does not issue any more banking licence.
“AFB is a small Islamic bank and its assets size is small. It should be less complicated this time.
“So far, nobody is backing out. From the discussions, it looks like AFB is still interested. Our shareholders are also being supportive,” said Ahmad Zaini.
Chief financial officer Tang Yow Sai said with the merger, MBSB would attain a licence to operate as an Islamic bank.
Getting the licence has been tough for the financial institution after twice failing in its merger attempts with other banks.
It first failed to merge with Bank Mualamat Malaysia Bhd and then with the Islamic banking units of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and RHB Capital Bhd.
Tang said the proposed merger with AFB would push MBSB’s asset “slightly” higher than the RM43 billion currently, but still behind that of Bank Islam. Amir Hisyam Rasid
Malaysian Building Society Bhd expects merger negotiations with Asian Finance Bank to conclude next month.