August 23, 2017 / 6:36 AM / in a year

ANZ talks to sell stake in Malaysia's AmBank scrapped -sources

KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd’s (ANZ) talks to sell its 24 percent stake in Malaysian lender AMMB Holdings (AmBank) Bhd to retirement fund KWAP have been called off, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The collapse follows a joint announcement from AmBank and domestic peer RHB Bank Bhd late on Tuesday to drop merger talks after failing to reach mutually acceptable terms.

ANZ has been seeking to sell its AmBank stake since early last year as it divests of minority stakes in Asia, and after the Malaysian bank featured in investigations into alleged corruption at state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

At the current market value, ANZ’s AmBank stake is worth $790 million.

The people, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media, said the sale to KWAP depended on a merger between AmBank and RHB.

ANZ and KWAP declined to comment. (Reporting by Liz Lee in KUALA LUMPUR and Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE; Additional reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing)

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