KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 Hwang-DBS Malaysia Bhd, a
financial services firm, said on Monday the central bank has
given it permission to start talks to sell its brokerage unit
Hwang-DBS Investment Bank Bhd to two potential suitors, AMMB
Holdings Bhd and Affin Holdings Bhd
"Bank Negara Malaysia's approval to commence negotiations is
valid for a period of six months," the company said in a local
stock exchange filing. "Further details on the possible disposal
will be announced in due course.
The announcement comes as Malaysian authorities encourage
bank mergers to create larger groups with the financial muscle
to grab market share in Southeast Asia, whose ASEAN grouping
plans to form a single economic zone by 2015.
It also follows the recent tie-up between investment bank
K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd and ECM Libra Financial Group
Bhd's financial units, which saw the merged entity
become the biggest independent investment bank by sales and
third-largest share brokerage by trading value.
(Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)