KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Reuters) - 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)