October 16, 2012 / 11:21 AM / 5 years ago

AMMB cleared for talks on units with Friends Life

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Malaysian lender AMMB Holdings has won central bank approval to hold talks about buying back Friends Life FPL’s 30 percent stake in its insurance and takaful business units - AmLife Insurance Bhd and AmFamily Takaful Bhd.

“This will enable us to focus on opportunities unique to our group’s business model,” group managing director Ashok Ramamurthy said on Tuesday.

“Notwithstanding this, Friends Life will continue to provide technical support to AmLife and AmTakaful over an agreed period of time,” he said.

Friends Life bought a 30 percent stake in AmLife in December 2008 for 170 million Malaysian ringgit ($56 million). The joint venture subsequently extended to takaful business in December 2011, with Friends Life taking a 30 percent stake in AmTakaful. ($1 = 3.0570 ringgits) (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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