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KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 (Reuters) - CIMB Group Holdings Bhd , Southeast Asia's fifth-largest bank, expects its dual listing in Thailand to take place by the fourth quarter of this year, said chief executive officer Nazir Razak, as the lender seeks to boost its presence in the region.
Malaysia listed CIMB Group may well become the first foreign firm in Thailand to have a dual listing on the Bangkok bourse and become the second biggest after Siam Commercial Bank -- Thailand's top lender by market value.
"We have always been keen for a dual listing in Thailand. We are still in discussions," Nazir told reporters after the bank's AGM in the Malaysian capital on Wednesday. "It will be Q4 if everything goes smoothly."
CIMB Group owns 94 percent in CIMB Thai Bank and has a string of holdings across Southeast Asia, which has been a bright spot in the global economy with the region's rapidly growing population and rising incomes.
It has been keen for a dual listing in Bangkok's bourse, which rose 36 percent last year -- making it Southeast Asia's best perfromer. The benchmark Thai stock index is up 9.7 percent so far this year.
CIMB, which has a market value of $19.1 billion, would be among the top five companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage and Jeremy Laurence)