MALAYSIA — The government pension fund has purchased a further US$641m (32.8%) stake in Malaysian bank Rashid Hussain, making it the majority shareholder.
Utama Banking Group announced yesterday it had sold its shares to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which now controls a 61.8% stake in the nation’s fourth largest bank.
Both EON Capital and Kuwait Finance House had also bid for Utama’s stake, and local media reports warned the deal could yet have a twist in the tail, as EPF’s offer was some 6% lower than that offered by EON.
As a result, minority shareholders might not accept the deal, reports stated.
Rashid Hussain has debt amounting to $1.3bn, but assets of over $28.55bn and over 200 branches in Malaysia.
Democratic Action Party official Tony Pua of the opposition claimed the deal put pension funds at risk, as the EPF lacked experience and the expertise to manage a commercial bank.
Enhanced powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to prosecute and fine company directors who "wilfully or recklessly" put their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme at risk will be hard to enforce, commentators say.
Melrose has pledged to contribute up to £1bn to GKN's pension schemes as part of a final offer to acquire the engineering business.
Existing master trusts will be forced to pay £41,000 when applying for authorisation under the upcoming regime, the government has confirmed.
UPDATE 2 - DWP publishes DB white paper: Stronger powers for TPR, DB chair statements to be introduced
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be given the power to fine company bosses who deliberately puts their defined benefit (DB) schemes at risk, the government has confirmed.