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May 9, 2022

Singapore’s Grab eyes stake in Malaysian lender AmBank

Grab Holdings is looking to acquire a stake in Malaysian lender AmBank, multiple media reports citing local newspaper Edge said.

Azman Hashim, the former chairman of the firm and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group are likely to divest their stake in AmBank, the newspaper said citing sources.

According to the group’s latest annual report, the Australian lender has a 21.68% stake in the bank. 

While Hashim, who retired as the banking group’s chairman recently, owns an 11.83% stake in it.

The news comes amid speculations AmBank and RHB Bank are reconsidering a merger, the sources told the publication. 

In 2017, the firms abandoned their merger plans as they could not reach an agreement on mutually acceptable terms and conditions. 

Singapore-based Grab refused to comment on the development. 

Notably, the Grab-led consortium was among the five applicants who received a digital banking licence from the Malaysian authorities last month. 

The consortium comprised of Grab and Singtel’s digital bank joint venture GXS Bank and a group of Malaysian investors including Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd.

Interestingly, a group that included RHB Bank also secured the digital banking licence along with Grab.

GXS Bank will hold a 55.45% stake in the proposed Malaysia digital bank, the Singapore-based firm revealed earlier. 

The Grab-Singtel digital bank JV, which was formed in 2020, was earlier selected to be awarded a full digital banking licence in Singapore.

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