Monday, September 18, 2006

Malaysia Utama "Not Aware" of Scotiabank Bid for RHB

Kuala Lumpur -(Dow Jones)- Malaysia's Utama Banking Group Bhd. Monday said it is unaware of any plan by Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia to bid for financial services group Rashid Hussain Bhd.

"Utama Banking wishes to inform that it is not aware of Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia's plans to bid for financial group Rashid Hussain, or its plan to offer MYR2.30 and MYR2.50 a share for Utama's stake in RHB," the investment holding company said in a statement to the stock exchange.

RHB shares ended up 4.8% Monday at MYR1.30.

Utama, which is controlled by the family of Sarawak state Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, was responding to a query from the stock exchange on a Business Times report that Bank of Nova Scotia plans to make a bid for RHB.

The report came following Utama's rejection of an offer from state-owned Employees Provident Fund to buy its 32.8% stake in RHB on the grounds that the price was significantly below valuation.