Sat, 21 Feb 2004

IBRA sells shares in four major banks

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) on Friday sold some of its remaining shares in the country's major private banks including Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Danamon, Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) and Bank Niaga through a block sale on the stock market.

Analysts estimated that the agency likely raised around Rp 1.55 trillion (US$184.53 million) in cash from the sale.

The Jakarta Stock Exchange said in a statement earlier in the day that IBRA would sell 7.85 percent stake, or 385.19 million shares in Danamon at Rp 2,600 per share.

It would also sell around 1.5 percent, or 88.25 million shares in BCA at Rp 3,800 per shares; 3.6 billion shares in Bank Niaga at Rp 35 per share; and Rp 815.93 million shares in BII at Rp 105 a share.

Shares in the four banks were suspended on Thursday, while the agency was conducting a book-building process to determine the price of the shares.

IBRA, which took over majority ownership in a number of banks in the wake of the late 1990s financial crisis, will still have a small number of shares in the banks. As the agency will be closed down on Feb. 27, the assets will be transferred to a new body under the Ministry of Finance.

During the past two years, IBRA has sold majority stakes in the banks in a bid to raise cash to help finance the state budget deficit. The proceeds from the latest sale program are supposed to go directly to the 2004 state budget.

IBRA is now in the process of selling a majority stake in Bank Permata, but given the limited time available, it is unlikely to complete the program before its closure. The agency has recently named Swissasia consortium was the winning bidder for more than 52 percent share in Bank Lippo. The sale is expected to be wrapped up next week.

Shares in BCA ended 4 percent higher Rp 3,925; Bank Danamon gained 9.7 percent at Rp 2,825; BII rose 9.5 percent at Rp 115; and Bank Niaga was unchanged at Rp 40.

The rally in the banking shares has contributed to a 0.64 percent rise in the Jakarta Stock Exchange composite index at 794.48.