ISLAMIC BANKING | Tony Chua, Malaysia

Bank Islam remains open to M&As

The lender wants to the M&A that has a strategic fit, which it didn’t see in the last two failed attempts.

Bank Islam, which is expected to hit another year of record profit, is still open to the idea of growing through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) despite two unsuccessful attempts earlier.

“To grow the bank domestically, I am all for it, but it's a matter of getting the right candidates,” managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat told StarBiz.

“Shareholders are open to the idea, but we must ensure that candidates are suitable on all fronts. In terms of synergies, it shouldn't be a case of just one plus one.”

He pointed out that in the case of the Hong Leong Bank-EON Bank merger, the auto loans business was one of the key drivers and the CIMB Bank-Southern Bank merger saw the emergence of a strong cards business.

“It must be something that has a strategic fit,” he said.

It was speculated some time back that Bank Islam was eyeing a merger with Maybank Islamic Bank (MIB), which has a strong niche in Islamic banking, but the talks fizzled out.

View the full story in The Malaysian Star.

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