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August 30, 2008

Indonesia: BII takeover up to Maybank
The fate of a $2.7 billion takeover of Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) is in Malaysia's hands and the capital markets watchdog will not make exceptions to existing rules, Reuters quoted Indonesia's regulator as saying on Friday.

Malaysia's top lender, Maybank, has agreed to buy a 55 percent stake in BII from Singapore's Temasek Holdings and South Korea's Kookmin , but the Malaysian central bank has blocked the plan citing concerns over potential losses.

When Bank Negara Malaysia revoked its approval of the transaction in July, the central bank said new Indonesian takeover rules, which require Maybank to ensure BII has a public float of 20 percent within two years, could lead to material losses for Maybank.

"From now I will say that the ball is in Malaysia's hand. So they are the ones who have to decide whether this deal can go on or not. Our stance remains the same," Fuad Rahmany, the chairman of Indonesia's capital market watchdog (Bapepam), told reporters.

"There are things that they (Maybank) have to take care of, but that's their business with Bank Negara Malaysia, so I think the ball is in Bank Negara Malaysia's hand," he added.

Indonesia could extend the timetable under its takeover rules for Maybank to refloat shares in BII, Rahmany said earlier this month.

Maybank chief executive Abdul Wahid Omar said on Monday that the lender was hoping to resolve its stalled plan to gain control of BII by September although Maybank was not planning to renegotiate the price of the deal, nor submit a new proposal to the central bank.

BII's shares have been suspended since July 30, pending the resolution of the takeover plan.

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