August 26, 2019 / 8:50 AM / 6 months ago

Malaysia's RHB Bank aims to complete sale of insurance unit by March-end

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 (Reuters) - RHB Bank Bhd, Malaysia’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, aims sell most of its stake in its general insurance unit by the end of the first quarter of next year, its group managing director said on Monday.

The bank said at the end of July it had permission from Malaysia’s central bank to commence talks to sell up to 94.7% of its shares in RHB Insurance to Tokio Marine Asia Pte Ltd, a unit of Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.

On Monday, Group Managing Director Khairussaleh Ramli told reporters at an earnings briefing that discussions are ongoing and that Tokio Marine has started due diligence on the insurer.

Ramli said the bank hoped to complete discussions by the end of October and seek regulatory approval in November.

“Hopefully everything goes well and we can come up with something we can put forward to both Bank Negara as well as the Ministry of Finance for their approval,” he said.

RHB Bank reported net profit of 615.4 million ringgit ($146.87 million) for April-June, 7.9% more than the same period last year, due mainly to higher non-funds based income and lower expected credit losses.

Revenue rose 12.1% to 3.42 billion ringgit.

The bank’s shares rose as much as 1.1% after it announced its earnings results on Monday. The broader market fell 1.0% .

($1 = 4.1900 ringgit)

Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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