Thu, 28 Aug 2008
Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is still an important market for Maybank despite rampant changes in the country`s financial policy, the bank`s president and chief executive officer Abdul Wahid Omar said.

"If one aspires to become a regional leader, one would have to be present in every market of the region. Looking at South and Southeast region, Indonesia is clearly an important market," he told Bernama.

Speaking to reporters after announcing the group`s financial results, he said with a population of 250 million people and its low gross domestic product (GDP) penetration, the potential for growth in Indonesia was very high.

He was responding to a question on whether the group would still consider Indonesia to strengthen its presence regionally despite the rampant changes in the country and if its plan to acquire PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk (BII) fails.

On whether the group was confident of proceeding with the deal, he said: "We are hopeful. What prevented us from completing it is just the interruption of a new rule. Obviously, if the issue can be overcome, we would like to proceed with the transaction."

The bank is likely to lose about RM290 million if the deal fails. For the financial year just ended, the group made a provision of RM483.8 million for the non-refundable deposit paid for the acquisition of Sorak Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, the controlling shareholder of BII.

He said the impact of the RM483 million provision was mitigated by a gain on foreign exchange of RM193 million on funds placed in Singapore dollar. (*)



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