August 28, 2014 / 11:21 AM / 3 years ago

Malaysia's RHB mulls sale of investment bank post-merger -sources

Aug 28 (Reuters) - RHB Capital Bhd, Malaysia’s fourth-largest lender by assets, is discussing the sale of its investment banking division if a planned three-way merger with rivals CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd proceeds, people familiar with the plan said.

CIMB, the nation’s second-biggest bank, said in July that it was seeking a merger with RHB and Malaysia Building Society to create Malaysia’s biggest Islamic bank and the nation’s biggest lender, surpassing Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).

RHB, which employs some 4,400 people in its investment banking division across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China, is worried about potential job losses due to overlapping businesses at the other two banks, the sources added.

It was not clear whether RHB will formally present the proposal to CIMB and MBSB during the merger negotiations.

CIMB has already submitted a merger proposal to RHB and MBSB, which involves a share swap deal and values the two lenders just above their current market capitalisation, one of the sources said.

A CIMB spokeswoman did not offer an immediate comment.

“Discussions on the proposed merger are currently ongoing. We are not in a position to make any comments at this juncture,” an RHB official said. (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Denny Thomas and Jane Baird)

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