Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thailand's SEC warns about ACL Bank's deal with ICBC

Published: 22/07/2009 at 12:00 AM

Newspaper section: Business

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday cautioned investors about investing in the shares of ACL Bank due to uncertainties regarding a potential change in shareholding structure.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China reached a tentative agreement last month with Bangkok Bank to purchase its 19% stake in ACL.

ICBC is reported to be interested in acquiring a larger stake in the small bank, including a possible buyout of the 30.6% shareholding currently held by the Finance Ministry.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said earlier this month that he would allow ICBC to exceed the 49% foreign shareholding limit if it benefited the banking sector, but that no formal proposal had been made to date.

Shares of ACL Bank have skyrocketed by 261% over the past three months, compared with a 31.6% gain for the broader SET index. No firm details on pricing of a potential deal have yet to be announced. The SEC also noted that the Finance Ministry has yet to clarify its stance on its ACL shareholding.

ACL shares closed yesterday at 7.85 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 217.58 million baht.

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