Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) looks likely to take over* Singapore brokers Kim Eng Holdings today with a RM 4.2 billion) (US$1.4 billion) offer as both companies’ shares were suspended pending an announcement.

Maybank’s interest in Kim Eng became known recently, with the latter reportedly approached about a takeover in December. Yuanta Securities Asia Financial Services Ltd today sold a 28% stake (168.5 shares) in Kim Eng to a division of Maybank for S$522.3 million (US$404.2 million), according to the Taiwan stock exchange. That’s S$3.1 a share, above yesterday’s rise to S$2.70.

Maybank already has retail operations in Singapore and Indonesia, but is said to be eager to move into investment banking in those countries. Competitor CIMB Group Holdings Bhd purchased another Singapore broker, G.K. Goh Holdings Ltd, in 2005, giving it operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the UK and USA.

source & article: Bloomberg

*update: according to The Edge Malaysia, Maybank is after a 44.6% stake with a view to increasing that to 100% and delisting the company, after making a mandatory offer as largest shareholder.