Sunday, May 24, 2009

Malaysia's Maybank Islamic says not eyeing strategic partner: Reuters

Maybank Islamic, Asia Pacific's largest sharia bank, is not currently seeking a strategic partner, its acting chief said on May 18, after earlier talk that it would merge with the country's No. 2 Islamic bank. "Not at the moment ... not at entity level," acting CEO Ibrahim Hassan told reporters, when asked if the bank was seeking a strategic partner, Reuters reported (May 18, 2009). Ibrahim said Maybank Islamic, a unit of Malayan Banking, is only interested in partnerships for specific business products such as the joint issue of credit cards. Malaysian financial group BIMB Holdings Bhd in February denied that it was in talks to merge its sharia banking subsidiary Bank Islam with Maybank Islamic. The report added that talk of a Maybank Islamic-Bank Islam merger came as several other banks in the rapidly growing sector said they were seeking acquisition opportunities to boost their size -- although a global economic slump could put a brake on expansion plans.

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