Hong Leong and EON Bank merger is seemingly quite likely to happen, after Bank Negara gave the green light to Hong Leong to negotiate with EON Bank’s owner, EON Capital. If the merger materializes, Malaysia will see a rise of the new 4th largest bank in the country behind Maybank, CIMB and Public Bank.
This new merged bank will have a total asset of RM110.5 billion.
EON Capital wholly owns EON Bank, with their largest shareholders being the Bintulu MP Tiong Hiew Khiing and Rin Kei Mei. For the record, Tiong Hiew Khiing is one of the focal men in the thick of the PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone) blown-up scandal. Forbes named Tiong as the 10th richest person in Malaysian for the year 2008.
Another major shareholder, RIn Kei Mei, is a Singapore-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. Last week, both denied selling their shares but now that things have come out in the open, denying it again would not be such a good move.
A few years back, Hong Leong and EON Bank almost merged but the discussion stalled during the determination of the buying price. During the time, the controlling shareholder of Hong Leong, Quek Leng Chan, was not willing to buy what he considered a hefty price.