Malaysian Banks RHB Bank and AMMB Holdings Consider Possible Merger: Sources

By Yantoultra Ngui and P.R. Venkat Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's RHB Bank Bhd. (1066.KU) and AMMB Holdings Bhd. (1015.KU), the country's fourth- and sixth-largest lenders by assets, respectively, are considering a merger that will create Malaysia's third-largest banking group, according to people close to the deal.

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Both banks said Wednesday evening that their shares will be suspended from trading on Malaysia's stock exchange Thursday morning, pending the release of a "material announcement."

RHB and AMMB are planning to announce that they have obtained the green light to start merger talks from Malaysian banking authorities, the people said.

Officials at RHB and AMMB didn't respond to requests for comments.

RHB in January 2015 attempted a three-way merger with the country's second-largest lender, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (1023.KU), and nonbank lender Malaysia Building Society Bhd. (1171.KU). That combination would have created Malaysia's biggest bank by assets, overtaking Malayan Banking Bhd. (1155.KU). However, talks fell through, partly due to disagreements over how to value the shares of the three banks, the banks said.

Shares of RHB last closed 0.2% higher at MYR5.39, while AMMB ended the day 2.2% higher at MYR5.21.

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Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com and P.R. Venkat at venkat.pr@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 08:37 ET (12:37 GMT)