Largest Islamic lender planned
Kuwait Finance House, reacting to weeks of media speculation, confirmed the bare outline of a deal that was nearing completion between its consortium of unnamed investors and the ultimate owners of
“The consortium could invest in excess of 12 billion ringgit ($3.43 billion) for this project,” Kuwait Finance House said in a statement emailed to media in
It said in a statement it had agreed to buy about 32 per cent of RHB bank’s parent, Rashid Hussain, from
Utama's stake in Rashid is worth about 350 million ringgit, based on Monday's closing price. The stock ended up 4 per cent at 1.51 ringgit. Utama shares closed up 5.8 per cent at 1.65 ringgit, and RHB Capital shares ended 8 per cent higher at 3.98 ringgit.
The consortium also stood ready to clear the debts of Rashid Hussain, it added. Rashid’s debts about 3.5 billion ringgit, including a bond repayment of $265 million due in June.
The deal could also include an offer by Rashid to sell its 65 per cent stake in RHB Capital, the listed unit that houses RHB bank. It did not give details, but a Malaysian daily has said this forms part of the plan to clear Rashid's debt.
The Kuwaiti bank also signalled how the consortium could make such a large overall investment without breaching the country’s ban on foreigners owning more than 30 per cent of a local bank. “RHB will not be foreign controlled but will operate as an Islamic brotherhood partnership,” Kuwait Finance House said.—Reuters