San Miguel to sell 60% of bank unit to CIMB –source

Posted at 01/11/2012 11:30 AM | Updated as of 01/11/2012 4:27 PM

* Deal may be worth $231 million based on capital stock

* To be signed by end-January - media report

MANILA/KUALA LUMPUR - Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is finalizing a deal to sell 60% of its banking arm, Bank of Commerce, to the CIMB Group, Malaysia's second-largest bank, a source involved in the share sale said on Wednesday.

A share-transfer agreement was now being reviewed by the groups involved, the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media about the matter and thus did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

Officials from San Miguel, Bank of Commerce and CIMB were not immediately available for comment.

CIMB had said in October it was in early talks to acquire a stake in Bank of Commerce from San Miguel group.

Bank of Commerce, with total assets of $2 billion, has capital stock of P16.96 billion ($385.5 million) as of June 2011, latest bank filings with the central bank show.

Based on this data, a sale of a 60% stake in the bank could be worth $231.3 million.

The bank had total stockholders' equity of P14.57 billion and 122 branches nationwide as of June.

Citing an unidentified source, the Business Times of Malaysia reported on Wednesday that CIMB Group was likely to sign the deal to buy into the medium-sized Philippine bank by the end of January.

"It's going for a 60% stake," the newspaper quoted the source as saying, adding that valuations were still being worked out.

CIMB's planned move is part of a strategy by Malaysian lenders to broaden their regional reach as the domestic market matures. In recent years, CIMB has already expanded its footprint in Southeast Asia, with buys in Singapore and Indonesia.

San Miguel shares were up 2% in a strong overall Philippine stock market on Wednesday. CIMB shares were flat in a slightly weak Kuala Lumpur stock market.