Fri, 12 Feb 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Janeman Latul & Yessar Rosendar
Social security provider PT Jaminan Sosial Tenaga Kerja said on Thursday that it plans to transform a Shariah unit of PT Bank Bukopin into a bank catering to its 8.4 million members after its acquisition of a majority stake in the bank is completed this year.

Hotbonar Sinaga, president director of the pension fund, also known as Jamsostek, said the “workers bank” would offer “one-stop” services for Jamsostek’s members, including social security payments, wealth management and loans.

The bank’s Shariah unit, PT Bank Bukopin Syariah, will continue to offer Shariah services.

Hotbonar said the move is part of Jamsostek’s plan to expand its services. The plan includes creating a holding company, Jamsostek Inc., for companies in sectors ranging from banking to health care, and investments to reinsurance.

Jamsostek already owns 9.42 percent of Bank Bukopin. Last month, it announced plans to acquire a majority stake in the bank through a joint-venture investment company, to be called Jamsostek Investment Corp. The joint venture will be owned by Jamsostek and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), an investment unit of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank based in Jeddah. Jamsostek will hold 51 percent of the joint venture, and ICD 49 percent.

The joint venture will be formed in the first half of 2010, with Rp 1 trillion ($107 million) in start-up capital. It will buy 42 percent of Bank Bukopin by the second half, Hotbonar said.

“We hope the acquisition will be finalized by the end of the first semester or early in the second half of the year,” he said.

Hotbonar declined to disclose the value of the purchase.

Jamsostek had conducted due diligence on several local Shariah banks, including PT BNI Syariah, a unit of PT Bank Negara Indonesia, PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia and PT Bank Agroniaga.

Analysts said Jamsostek’s interest in Shariah banks was natural, given the tremendous growth and potential in the sector.

However, Henry Pranoto, a banking analyst from PT Andalan Artha Advisindo Sekuritas, questioned how Jamsostek could lure its subscribers to its new “workers bank.”

“The concept for the bank is good. However, to make the move successful Jamsostek has to search for a way to make employees that are already customers of a bank to move and use the service of Jamsostek’s bank,” Henry said.

“One of the factors that plays a key role in attracting customers is to have a sufficient number of branches for the convenience of the customers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jamsostek’s plan to acquire a 20 percent to 30 percent stake in BNI Syariah through Jamsostek Investment Corp. is under review. IDB had already agreed to become a strategic partner with BNI Syariah.

Hotbonar said the company is considering several options, including Jamsostek Investment Corp. replacing IDB as the strategic partner.

Also, Jamsostek could become a separate strategic partner in the bank with IDB.

Jamsostek has 8.4 million active members.