CIMB to latch on Islamic banking expertise in China expansion

Joyce Goh reported in The Edge Daily, Malaysia about plans of Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd (BCHB), parent company of CIMB Group, will use its 20% stake in Bank of Yingkou (BOYC) of China as a springboard to expand its business there, particularly latching on its Islamic finance expertise to carve a niche for itself in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. China has a larger Muslim community than China. BOYC is looking to expand to Shenyang — the city in Liaoning province earmarked to be an Islamic finance hub of China. Just three months ago, BOYC received the approval from the Chinese government to transform itself from a local commercial bank into a regional bank, thereby giving it the green light to expand its services in the Liaoning province.

CIMB Group is proposing to subscribe for 19.99% stake or 141.2 million new ordinary shares in BOYC for RMB348.8 million (RM156.2 million). The purchase values the entire bank at about US$250 million (RM800 million) or about 1.58 times the adjusted book value of the Chinese bank. The deal once completed will see CIMB emerging as BOYC’s largest shareholder. The 19.99% stake is currently the maximum shareholding CIMB can have in BOYC under the present rules.