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3 Malaysian banks may merge

Plans by three of Malaysia’s biggest lenders to merge into the country’s largest bank are progressing. CIMB Group had said it plans to buy smaller rivals RHB Capital and the Malaysia Building Society, which when completed would create a group with total assets of RM614 billion ($192.8 billion) and a 23% market share of domestic loans. This would eclipse the current market leader Maybank’s worth of about RM578 billion ($181.49 billion) and market share of 18%. The three entities have said they have secured approval from Bank Negara Malaysia for the deal and have since entered into a 90-day exclusivity agreement to negotiate and finalise pricing, structure, and other relevant terms and conditions. The banks say part of the aim is to create a ‘mega Islamic bank’ by tapping in to the country’s status as one of the world’s leading Islamic finance centres. The deal may also give the domestic banking sector a boost amid criticism that growth has been stale this year.

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