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Banks

Philippines' SM sells 2 pct stake in BDO to Malaysia's Khazanah

MANILA, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Conglomerate SM Investments Corp said it had sold a portion of its stake in BDO Unibank Inc to Khazanah Nasional Bhd, marking the entry of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund in the Philippines’ top lender by assets.

SM, owned by the Philippines’ richest man, Henry Sy, said in a statement on Tuesday the transaction involved its unit, Multi-Realty Development Corp, selling 2 percent of BDO’s total common shares to Pulau Kaca Investments Ltd, a Khazanah unit.

SM did not disclose financial details. BDO currently has a market value of $8.75 billion.

SM said the entry of Khazanah will further strengthen the BDO’s institutional shareholder base and affirms the attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination.

BDO, in a separate statement, said it had signed an agreement to acquire a Philippine rural bank, One Network Bank Inc, which has 28.1 billion pesos ($629 million) in assets and 105 branches. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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