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May 16, 2008

Maybank to raise capital

Maybank, Malaysia's largest lender, will announce next month its plans to raise capital, but remains committed to a long-term dividend payout policy, its chief executive was quoted by Reuters as saying Thursday.

Malayan Banking Bhd, which has been on an offshore acquisition spree in the past two months, has a dividend payout ratio of 60 percent. "We are committed to our long-term dividend policy," Abdul Wahid Omar told reporters.

He said the bank was weighing its options on how much capital to raise, after agreeing to spend more than $3.5 billion on recent foreign acquisitions.

Criticised for being too slow to grow overseas, Maybank sprang into action in March, buying 15 percent of Vietnam's An Binh Bank for $135 million, and paying $2.7 billion for control of Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII).

This month, it bought 15 percent of Pakistan's MCB Bank for $680 million, drawing flak for overpaying. "We are working on it and we will get back to you in June," Wahid said, referring to the capital fund raising.

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