Malaysia Bourse Said to Rule EPF Can’t Vote on CIMB-RHB Merger

Malaysia’s stock exchange rejected a request to allow Employees Provident Fund, the nation’s biggest pension manager, to vote on a 72.5 billion ringgit ($22.2 billion) bank merger, people with knowledge of the matter said.

EPF was denied a waiver allowing it to vote on the three-way merger of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., RHB Capital Bhd. and Malaysia Building Society Bhd., the people said, asking not to be named as the matter is private. The fund is RHB Capital’s largest investor with a 40.9 percent holding and also owns stakes in CIMB and Malaysia Building, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

CIMB, Malaysia’s second-biggest lender, and RHB this month agreed to a merger that would create the country’s largest bank by assets. RHB will issue new shares to buy CIMB and units of both firms will form a “mega-Islamic bank” with Malaysia Building Society, the companies said Oct. 9.

Engaging with Aabar Investments PJSC, an Abu Dhabi fund that’s the second-largest investor in RHB, will become more important after EPF was barred from voting. Aabar, which bought its shares for 27 percent above their current price, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as it seeks to protect the value of its investment, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Dau Ming Seling, executive vice president of strategic communications at Bursa Malaysia, declined to comment when reached by phone.

EPF is CIMB’s second-largest shareholder with a 14.6 percent stake and owns 64.6 percent of Malaysia Building Society, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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