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May 14, 2008

Maybank to close BII purchase by July

Malayan Banking Bhd will complete its acquisition of a 56 percent stake in Bank Internasional Indonesia by the end of June or early July, Reuters  quoted the chief executive of Malaysia's top lender as saying.

"We have the approval of the shareholders and now we will proceed for the regulatory approval, Abdul Wahid Omar told reporters on Thursday.

"We expect that at the end of June or early July, and after that, we will go ahead with the tender offer of the remaining shares."

Wahid also said the bank was committed to its existing 60 percent long-term dividend payout policy.

Maybank surprised investors in March when it paid $2.7 billion, 4.6 times book value, for a controlling stake in Indonesia's sixth-largest bank, Bank Internasional Indonesia, a price judged very high by analysts familiar with BII.

Maybank also bought 15 percent of Vietnam's An Binh Bank for $135 million. This month, it bought 15 percent of Pakistan's MCB Bank for $680 million, triggering criticism that it had overpaid to expand.

Maybank had said it would need to restore its capital ratio after acquiring MCB Bank and expects to announce capital-raising plans by end-June.

Analysts said that based on the bank's current capital structure and the assumption it raises money from the debt market alone, it can raise up to 40 billion ringgit.

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