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RHB Bank to be Sold Again, EPF to make good money



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Dec 16 2007
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Money from Middle East is basically screaming to be flushed elsewhere. While the US dollar is flushing down the toilet, Middle East’s fortune is looking into, well, Islamic countries to be flushed. One of the countries that attracted these hot monies is Malaysia, not a hard thing to understand since Malaysia premier PM has been on the roadshow marketing his version of Islam Hadhari. According to Wikipedia however, the theory of Islam Hadhari was originally founded by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1957 but was under different name. So the current PM Abdullah Badawi hijacked the theory, renamed it as Islam Hadhari and claimed it’s his own creation?

Well, we’re not going to debate on this issue but rather how the Middle Eastern countries slowly but surely invading Malaysia’s corporate scenes. Let’s face it – with oil prices at current level, the Aladdins are basically speechless with their newly found treasures. They’re on the shopping spree as their own kingdoms are nothing but sands. Besides being the center of oil reserves there’s nothing interesting to invest. So they bought marbles from Italy, Ferraris, private jets, hotels around the world, financial institution from foreign soils and they even tried to buy the port from US but was met with furious controversy over port security and pressure from Congress that they backed-off.

They’re invaded the property sectors and was looking at biofuels (acquisitions of palm oil companies?). And in the name of Islamic Banking, they’re scouting around to establish their presence. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) started the ball-rolling when they tried but lost the bid to EPF (Employees Provident Fund) for a controlling stake in RHB Bank. Though it was a battle of brotherhood (in the name of Islam), EPF still saw the opportunity to make a round of good money hence the brotherhood needs to take the back seat. And if what was reported is going to materialize, EPF is set to make great money.
EPF sell RHB to ADBCHaving paid RM4.80 a share of RHB Capital (KLSE:
RHBCAP, stock-code 1066) to Utama Banking Group (KLSE: UBG, stock-code 6831) to take over RHB banking group it was reported that Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) is close to buying a 25% stake in RHB Capital Bhd from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). ADBC is said to be willing to pay up to RM7.50 a share for RHB Capital – a cool RM2.70 a share or 56.25 percent profit over what EPF paid for RHB Capital initially.

ADBC which has a market capitalization of over US$7 billion was a result of the merger of Khaleej Bank with Emirates Commercial Bank in 1985. The Government of Abu Dhabi holds 64% of the paid up capital and the balance is held by prominent UAE Institutions and nationals. EPF which needs to trim its stake in the bank to 35% from 82% is still talking with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp which is equally interested in 10% of RHB Capital. Just what could be the final resting place of RHB after its founder retired?

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