18th May 2022 - 2 min read
Grab is said to be interested in acquiring a stake in AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank), likely by making its purchase from the banking group’s two largest shareholders: Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ), as well as Tan Sri Azman Hashim. This was revealed by several sources familiar with the matter.
To note, ANZ currently has a 21.68% stake in AmBank, while Tan Sri Azman holds 11.83% equity interest. ANZ, specifically, has been in the process of reducing its exposure to Asia to refocus on its home turf – a development which had begun several years earlier. In 2016, for instance, it shut down its SME-lending business in five Asian countries, and also said that it may sell off its stakes in banks in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.
The sources also did not share how much Grab was willing to pay for this acquisition, but the tech giant – which debuted on US stock exchange Nasdaq in December 2021 – is reported to have US$9 billion in cash liquidity as of 31 December 2021, and a net cash liquidity of US$6.8 billion. This is despite suffering a loss of US$3.4 billion in 2021, up from a US$2.6 billion loss the year before.
Grab was also recently named as one of the successful applicants for Bank Negara Malaysia’s five coveted digital banking licences, via its unit GXS Bank. GXS Bank is expected to hold a 55.45% stake in the proposed digital bank.
Outside of Malaysia, Grab had also acquired a 16.3% stake in Bank Fama International, which is based in Indonesia. The tech giant commented that this move will help it “to pursue banking opportunities” in the archipelago.
Meanwhile, AmBank is also said to be revisiting a proposal that may see it merge with RHB Bank. This is following AmBank’s resolution of a global settlement with the Ministry of Finance (MOF), incurred on outstanding claims and actions in relation to the financial transactions of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
(Source: The Edge Markets)
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