Friday, September 22, 2017

Foreign insurers in Malaysia pressured to trim shareholdings

Foreign insurers operating in Malaysia are under time pressure to strictly trim down their holdings and divest to local partners in adherence with the country’s new ownership regulations.

Among these insurers are Singapore’s Great Eastern Holdings and three other wholly foreign-owned insurance firms that lead the multi-billion-dollar industry in Malaysia.

According to a directive released by Bank Negara Malaysia in April, the four insurers have until the end of this month to reveal the identity of the prospective parties that will take over the minimum 30% local shareholding in their respective operations.

The directive also provides that arrangements for the divestment with the targeted parties must be finished before the end of the year.

If this does not happen in time, the firms will need to list their businesses on the local bourse.

And if they opt to do so, IPO plans should be submitted to the Securities Commission before the end of January next year.

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