Sunday, August 15, 2010

BIMB to swap listing status with Bank Islam

By Habhajan Singh

The listed status of BIMB Holdings Bhd, the entity controlling an Islamic bank and a takaful operator, may be "transferred" to its 51%-owned subsidiary Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.

It is understood Lembaga Tabung Haji, which has a 51.47% stake in BIMB and another 9% direct stake in Bank Islam, is mulling at stripping the listing at the holding company level and passing it on to Bank Islam, which contributed a huge chunk to BIMB's revenue and operating profit.

"The matter has been raised at Tabung Haji's investment panel. The thinking is to collapse the listing direct to the Bank Islam level in recognition of its role as the main group revenue driver," one source told The Malaysian Reserve.

At the moment, BIMB holds a 65.22% stake in Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, which is also listed on Bursa Malaysia.

"The decision, if any, will come from the investment panel. It's a powerhouse when it comes to deciding Tabung Haji's investments," said another source familiar with the operations of the pilgrim fund.

The Tabung Haji investment panel, chaired by Eastern & Oriental Bhd chairman Datuk Azizan Abdul Rahman, include Malayan Banking Bhd president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, legal firm Kadir Andri & Partners' Abdul Kadir Md Kassim and Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd former managing director Datuk Mohzani Abdul Wahab.

When contacted, BIMB said it was "not aware" on any transferring of the listing status by Tabung Haji. At press time, Tabung Haji had yet to response to queries from The Malaysian Reserve.