Temasek raises stake in Bank Internasional Indonesia

Singapore (Antara News) - State-linked investment firm Temasek Holdings said Tuesday it has raised its stake in Indonesia's sixth largest bank, PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), as a result of its increased stake in Sorak Financial Holdings Pte Ltd.

Temasek has lifted its stake in Sorak, which owns slightly more than 56 percent of BII, to 75 percent from 50 percent.

"Temasek confirms the purchase of shares from Barclays Bank and ICB Financial Group Holdings, to increase our stake in Sorak Financial Holdings," said Myrna Thomas, managing director of corporate affairs at Temasek.

BII shares traded higher in Jakarta after Indonesia's Kompas daily reported this morning that Temasek raised its stake in the bank. The stock finished the morning session up 15 rupiah or 5.5 percent at 290.

"We remain open at all times to maintain, increase or reduce our holdings, depending on market opportunities and conditions," Thomas told Thomson Financial.

South Korea's Kookmin Bank holds the remaining 25 percent stake in Sorak.

Temasek, which also has a 59.1 percent stake in Indonesia's fifth largest bank, PT Bank Danamon, now has to decide whether it will merge Danamon and BII or divest its stake in either bank to comply with regulations that disallows holding controlling stakes in more than one bank.

"Temasek Holdings is currently reviewing different options to comply with the Single Presence Policy (SPP). We intend to submit our proposal to Bank Indonesia before the end of the year in accordance with SPP rules," Thomas

Bank Indonesia is the Indonesian central bank.

Temasek was recently in the headlines over its indirect shareholdings in two of Indonesia's largest cellular phone companies, PT Telkomsel and PT Indosat. The Indonesian anti-monopoly watchdog KPPU ruled Temasek breached Jakarta's anti-monopoly laws.

The investment company has denied the charges and said it will exhaust all avenues to defend itself, including referring the case for international arbitration.

"We continue to believe in the long-term prospect and tremendous potential of ASEAN," said Thomas, when asked if Temasek's sentiment in regard to conducting businesses in Indonesia has changed after the recent KPPU ruling. (*)
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