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Utama Banking still hopeful despite merger stall

Utama Banking still hopeful despite merger stall

(Malaysia) - Sarawak's Utama Banking may yet become a core bank in spite of negotiations with RHB Bank going nowhere. Lengthy talks on a merger between Utama and RHB Bank RHBC, Malaysia's third biggest lender, are reportedly deadlocked and the Government has allowed Utama a six month extension to secure another partner. The small retail bank is the only local lender still unattached to any of the 10 core banks following the Government's instruction to its 54 financial institutions to merge into 10 core banks.

Utama had been trying to acquire a controlling shareholding in RHB but the parties have failed to agree on pricing. Utama's banking licence is now under threat of being revoked should the Bank miss its new June deadline for merger.

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