MBSB on track to be­com­ing full-fledged Is­lamic bank

New Straits Times - - Business -

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.

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