Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) will start talks to
sell its RHB stake to Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar and has won Malaysian
central bank approval for the move, it said Sunday.
ADCB's plans to sell its 25 percent stake in
RHB - valued at around $1.6bn - appeared to hit a hurdle
after two local peers, Maybank and CIMB, got regulatory approval to bid
for RHB last month.
Sources said last week that the Abu Dhabi
lender's planned auction would proceed.
"In connection with the bank's strategic review
of its stake in RHB Capital ... the bank received approval from Bank
Negra [the Malaysian central bank] to enter into negotiations with Aabar
Investments regarding a potential sale transaction," ADCB said in a
statement on Sunday.
Aabar is majority owned by Abu Dhabi government
investment vehicle International Petroleum Investment Corp (IPIC).
Shares in ADCB, which is 55-percent owned by the
government of Abu Dhabi, were down 0.32 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse on
ADCB had hired Goldman Sachs and BOA-Merrill Lynch
as advisors on the transaction to sell its position in Malaysia's fifth-largest bank with a
$7.3bn market value.
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