Backers of PT Bank Muamalat Looking for Exit

Top shareholders of Indonesia’s PT Bank Muamalat are looking to sell at least a 51% stake in the unlisted Islamic lender, Reuters reported. A deal for the majority stake could reach about $300 million, Reuters said, adding that PT Bank Permata, a unit of Standard Chartered, Qatar Islamic Bank and OCBC are among the potential bidders. The three shareholders looking for a partial exits are Islamic Development Bank, Boubyan Bank Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia’s Atwill Holdings Ltd., Reuters wrote. Combined, the three own 75.7% of the bank.

(Reuters) – Top shareholders of Indonesia’s PT Bank Muamalat are looking to sell at least a 51 percent stake in the unlisted Islamic lender, in a deal that may be valued at about $300 million, sources with knowledge of the plans said on Wednesday.

Bank Muamalat confirmed the sale process and said several investors have conducted due diligence to buy the stake.

Singapore’s second-biggest lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp had looked at the bank in the first round, but is no longer interested, two sources told Reuters.

Bloomberg, which first reported the sale plan, said PT Bank Permata, a unit of Standard Chartered , Qatar Islamic Bank and OCBC were among bidders. The deal may value the bank at $600 million, it reported.

Muamalat’s total assets are 21.4 trillion rupiah ($2.5 billion). Its top three shareholders who are trying to sell the stake are Islamic Development Bank, Boubyan Bank Kuwait , and Saudi Arabia’s Atwill Holdings Ltd, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deal.

These shareholders collectively control 75.7 percent of the lender, according to its website.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has a huge untapped market for Islamic banking, which local and international investors are trying to capture.

Qatar National Bank last year bought an 82 percent stake in small local lender Bank Kesawan for $82 million.

Bank Danamon , controlled by Singapore state investor Temasek , and TPG-backed Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional also plan to expand their shariah business.

Morgan Stanley is advising the shareholders on the sale, sources said, adding second-round bids are due in June.

Spokeswomen for OCBC and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Last year, Malaysian Islamic lender Bank Islam was trying to buy a stake in Bank Muamalat but dropped the plan earlier this year. (Additional reporting by Denny Thomas in Hong Kong, Fathiya Dahrul in Jakarta and Saeed Azhar in Singapore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)