KUCHING, Jan 17 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today declined to confirm reports that the state government is close to acquiring a further stake in Affin Bank Berhad from Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).
However, he said the 20 per cent stake the Sarawak government was supposedly targeting was inaccurate.
“I dare not comment because the bank is a listed company,” the premier said after visiting Brooke Dockyard Industrial Heritage Museum.
“I can tell you that the figure as reported in the media is not correct. But as the saying goes if there is no wind, the flag will not flap.”
He said the state government’s application to establish a digital bank was not approved by Bank Negara Malaysia.
However, he said “something” unexpectedly suddenly came to the state government.
“But let’s wait what will happen,” he added.
Abang Johari said Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) is not involved, should there be acquisition of shares in Affin Bank.
He added DBoS is not a commercial bank, but more towards giving loans to finance the state government projects.
The Edge Malaysia had reported that the Sarawak State Financial Secretary is understood to be close to concluding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will lead to a deal to acquire an additional stake in Affin Bank Bhd from LTAT.
At present, Sarawak has a 4.95 per cent stake in the bank. The state bought the 112.56 million shares in mid-April last year at RM1.97 per share or RM221.74 million in total.
The Edge also reported Sarawak state is keen to acquire an additional 15 per cent in Affin from the armed forces fund that has a direct 29.7 per cent in the banking group while its wholly-owned unit Boustead Holdings Bhd has a 20.65 per cent stake.
Should the shares successfully change hands, Sarawak state will be Affin’s third-largest shareholder with approximately 20 per cent after Bank of East Asia, which has a 23.79 per cent stake. LTAT will remain the single largest shareholder with a direct and indirect stake of 35.3 per cent.