Rimbunan Hijau silent on its takeover of Maybank
There has been plenty of media coverage this week about the sale by Maybank of its Papua New Guinea banking interests. The story has made headlines in both PNG and Malaysia and been featured extensively in the business pages right across the the Asian and Pacific regions. A few examples of the media coverage are copied at the foot of this post.
But one crucial detail has been missing from all the media coverage. Nobody has mentioned that the company taking over Maybank’s interests in PNG is in fact the notorious Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau.
RH has already used the profits from its extensive illegal and destructive logging operations in PNG to expand its interests into property development, media, retail, shipping, aviation, travel and the financial sector. But it is remaining very coy about its involvement in the Maybank deal – presumably because land grabbing (RH was slammed in the recent Commission of Inquiry into the unlawful SABL land scam), illegal logging, environmental destruction, human rights abuses and the use of the police to terrorize landowners are somewhat frowned upon in the offices and board rooms of the banking world. And how many Maybank customers will want to stay with the bank when they realise their monies are in the hands of Rimbunan Hijau?
Even Rimbunan Hijau’s own newspaper, The National, has failed to mention RH’s role in the deal, despite splaying the story of the Maybank sale across its front page on Wednesday, including two more articles on the deal on its inside pages and running two further stories yesterday, including one featuring opposition leader Don Polye endorsing the takeover.
All that we have learnt about the Maybank sale from the media is that Maybank has been sold to a company called Kina Ventures and Kina Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kina Securities.
But who owns Kina Securities? Well it is Rimbunan Hijau. But that ownership is carefully hidden behind a veil of secrecy and deception involving various off-shore companies and hidden shareholdings.
According to the Investment Promotion Authoriy, Kina Securities is 94% owned by Fu Shan Investment Ltd with Columbus Investments and Wayne Golding each holding small 3% share parcels.
Fu Shan Investment is a Hong Kong registered company with address at Level 28, 3 Pacific Place, 1 Queens Road East, Hong Kong.
But the first real clue as to Rimbunan Hijau’s ownership comes from looking at Kina’s Board of Directors. Alongside Wayne Goding, Sid Yates, Don Manua and Rabbie Namaliu sit Peter NG, General Manager for Corporate Finance and Investment for the Rimbunan Hijau Group in Malaysia, and Chin ‘James’ Yap, of Rimbunan Hijau PNG. Former directors also include direct members of the Tiong family, the owners of Rimbunan Hijau.
Fu Shan acquired its shares in Kina Securities in November 2011, buying 1,190,000 from a company called Flensburg Inc and 600,000 from Primeco Limited. Both Flensburg and Primeco have previously been exposed as Rimbunan Hijau subsidiaries. Colombus acquired its 100,000 shares from Flensburg in December 2006
Those with a long memory may remember we have been here before. In 2006, when Rimbunan Hijau’s ownership of Kina Securities was first exposed, the company went to extraordinary lengths trying to deny the claims and cover-up the evidence. The lies and deception, particularly from Sid Yates, was all extensively detailed online by PNG’s first web based corruption watchdog – Masalai i Tokaut.
Masalai revealed that the company Kina claimed as its owner was not even a real, registered company and that the women Kina said was the ultimate shareholder was actually the wife of the brother of Rimbunan Hijau’s founder and a director of several RH subsidiary companies. Masalai also exposed how Kina was operating its huge superannuation business without a licence and was defrauding the State of million of kina in fees.
Some of the recent media coverage
Malaysia’s Maybank exits Papua New Guinea for $117 mln
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia’s largest bank by assets, said on Monday it will sell its commercial banking units in Papua New Guinea for 418 million ringgit ($117.15 million).
The sale of Maybank (PNG) Ltd and Mayban Property Ltd to Kina Ventures Ltd follows a decision to re-focus Maybank’s resources into ASEAN and China, where it can achieve better synergies and investment returns, the bank said in a statement.
“While we have been operating profitably and successfully in Papua New Guinea over the years, we have had to evaluate how best we can use our capital going forward, especially in light of new and more stringent requirements under the Basel III regime,” Chief Executive Abdul Farid Alias said.
The sale is expected to conclude in the second half of this year.
Maybank to exit Papua New Guinea
Source: The Rakyat Post
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has entered into an agreement with Kina Ventures Ltd and Kina Securities Ltd of Papua New Guinea for the proposed disposal of Maybank’s entire equity interest of two subsidiaries incorporated in Papua New Guinea for a total cash consideration of about RM418 million.
The sale of both Maybank (PNG) Ltd (MPNG) and Mayban Property (PNG) Ltd (MPPNG) is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015, Maybank said in a statement today.
MPNG and MPPNG have been involved in commercial banking activities and property investment respectively.
The disposal will not have any effect on the issued and paid-up share capital as well as shareholdings of the substantial shareholders of Maybank.
It is also not expected to have any material effect on the earnings per share, net assets per share and gearing of the Maybank Group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015.
Maybank group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the sale is part of Maybank’s continuous effort to evaluate its international operations with a specific focus on maximising capital use as well as optimising resources in the most efficient manner.
“This decision to dispose of our operations in Papua New Guinea is a result of strategic reviews carried out regularly at the group to reprioritise our capital and resources with the intention of focusing our growth agenda in target regions where we can achieve the best returns from our investments.
“While we have been operating profitably and successfully in Papua New Guinea over the years, we have had to evaluate how best we can use our capital going forward, especially in light of new and more stringent requirements under the Basel III regime.”
Ultimately, he said, greater value creation can be achieved for all stakeholders by re-focusing resources in the Asean and Greater China regions where greater synergies and better returns on capital investment can be realised.
Abdul Farid said despite the share sale agreement, Maybank would still be committed to serving customers in Papua New Guinea who have cross-border requirements given the banking group’s vast network in the region and in key international centres.
Kina takes over Maybank
Source: The National, Wednesday May 20th, 2015
KINA Bank will become the country’s fourth largest bank following the Kina Group’s K319 million-plus acquisition of Maybank PNG.
Kina Group chief executive officer Sydney Yates said Maybank and the Kina Group customers could now access a broader range of banking and financial services and products under one roof.
Kina Group is the country’s largest non-banking financial institution. “Cornerstone investors that have agreed to provide funding in connection with the transaction include PNG superannuation funds Comrade Trustee Services Limited, Nambawan Super Limited and National Superannuation Fund Limited,” Yates said.
“Kina Group is presently considering options to fund future growth, including a possible stock exchange listing.”
Yates said Maybank PNG was an attractive banking business with a solid capital and liquidity position. The transaction is being undertaken in consultation with the Central Bank of PNG and should be completed in July.
Yates said Kina Group would pay about K319 million, plus the difference in the value of the net assets of Maybank PNG at the completion of the proposed acquisition, compared to December 31, 2014.
“The acquisition allows Kina to enter into electronic banking, leveraging Maybank PNG’s client base and the growing demand for electronic banking services,” Yates said.
“Kina Group already services the financial and investment needs of our 8000 lending clients, 3000 stockbroking clients and 150,000 fund administration clients, as well as acting as a licensed investment manager with approximately K4.7 billion in funds under management.
“Maybank PNG’s business provided a natural fit to Kina, enabling it to extend its reach in PNG’s financial sector market with an established and profitable company that had all necessary licences and an established client base.”
Yates said the acquisition “further reinforces our commitment to provide the PNG community with an alternative to the big banks and offers our combined customers access to a wider range of products and services”.
He said Maybank PNG was identified as an attractive acquisition for Kina due to its established infrastructure, conservative capital structure, and client base which offered exposure to PNG’s growing middle class, small-to-medium enterprise sector and high net-worth individuals.
“Kina Group intends to extend its physical presence in PNG, through expanding its branch network following the acquisition,” he said.
“Providing greater access to financial services to residents in isolated areas will be critical in tapping into this growth opportunity.”
Maybank PNG was established in 1994 as a subsidiary of the largest Malaysian banking and financial services business, the Maybank Group.
It offers a range of products including loans, overdrafts, trade financing, foreign exchange, banker guarantees, current accounts, savings and fixed deposit accounts.
Yates said a key benefit for Kina Group of a full banking licence would be the lower cost of wholesale funding.