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.
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