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August 9, 2008

Indonesia may give Maybank more time for BII deal
Indonesia may offer more time under its takeover rules for Malaysia’s Maybank to refloat shares in Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), the chairman of the country’s capital market regulator (Bapepam) said on Friday.

Reuters said state-controlled Maybank has planned to buy a 55.5 percent stake in BII for $2.7 billion, but Malaysia’s central bank later blocked the deal after saying Indonesia’s takeover rules, which require a 20 percent free float of BII shares after two years, could trigger losses for Maybank.

“We cannot grant or promise extension at this time, but the ruling allows us to do so under certain conditions,” Bapepam chairman Fuad Rahmany told Reuters via a mobile phone text message.

The regulator introduced a new ruling last month on mandatory takeovers of listed companies, which forces buyers to refloat some of the shares they acquire during the tender offer, to ensure that the target company has a 20 percent free float.

The ruling, which also lifted the threshold on mandatory takeover to 50 percent from 25 percent, has been criticised by some market analysts and financial executives.

Maybank rattled investors in March when it said it would buy a 55.5 percent stake in Indonesia’s sixth-largest bank from Singapore state investor Temasek and South Korea’s Kookmin Bank for $2.7 billion.

The deal priced BII at about 4.6 times book value, double Maybank’s 2.3 and compared with the 1.98 times book value of Indonesia’s largest lender Bank Mandiri.
Maybank has been on an acquisition spree abroad this year, announcing three overseas purchases in as little as three months.

The bank bought 15 percent of Vietnam’s An Binh Bank for $135 million in March and 15 percent of Pakistan’s MCB Bank for $680 million in May, and was on Friday reported to haves just bought another 5 percent of MCB Bank for about $213 million.

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