Malaysia's Bank Islam may assume listing status of parent-paper

KUALA LUMPUR Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:56pm EST

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KUALA LUMPUR Feb 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia's oldest Islamic lender Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd may assume the listing status of its parent company BIMB Holdings Bhd, the Business Times said on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

BIMB, which owns 51 percent of Bank Islam, is discussing the move that will simplify BIMB's group structure and potentially improve valuations, one of the sources told the widely read business daily.

Listing Bank Islam -- which is the second largest sharia bank in Malaysia -- may give investors direct exposure to the fast-growing Islamic banking operations, analysts have said.

BIMB and Bank Islam officials were not immediately available for comment on the report.

Bank Islam Managing Director Zukri Samat had earlier said the listing proposal could be an option as it would give the bank flexibility in raising capital for future expansion.

But the move may dilute the current 30.5 percent stake held by Dubai Group LLC, pushing the firm to either raise objections to the listing or sell out.

Shares of BIMB fell 0.5 percent as of 0151 GMT, compared to the broader market, which barely moved. (Reporting By Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage)

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