CIMB abandons plan for Thai listing as unrest saps market sentiment
KUALA LUMPUR Feb 26 (Reuters) - CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malaysisa's second-largest bank, said on Tuesday it has abandoned plans for a dual listing in Thailand, as months of anti-government protests begin to take their toll on market and investor sentiment.
"CIMB has decided to abort the proposed Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) listing in light of the market conditions in Thailand," CIMB said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The announcement came after Southeast Asia's fifth-largest lender posted record profits for a fifth straight year but warned it's Thai business would need to be "focused and agile to navigate the uncertain environment".
If CIMB had carried out the listing, it would have become one of the top five lenders on the Thai stock exchange in terms of market value.
In Thailand, protesters have been seeking to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and stamp out the influence of her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, a self-exiled former premier regarded by many as the real power behind the government.
While the main index has been largely flat since the start of 2014, it was the worst performing bourse in Southeast Asia last year, also hurt by volatility in emerging markets due to the tapering of U.S. monetary stimulus.
CIMB, which has a controlling interest in CIMB Thai Bank , first proposed a dual listing in 2009 but the plan was delayed due to regulatory and tax issues. It won approval from Thai authorities in May last year but had to seek extensions till May 30 this year. (Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage)
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