News: BIMB Holdings is to acquire remaining shares it does not currently own in Bank Islam Malaysia to gain full control by the end of 2013, The Sun Daily reports. BIMB has secured shareholder approval to buy the 49% stake from Dubai Financial Group and Lembaga Tabung Haji, adding to its existing 51% controlling stake. BIMB said that its existing shareholding had already been contributing 85% to the group's revenue and earnings, with full ownership expected to increase this to almost 90% by the end of the 2014 financial year.
BMI View: The recent move by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to impose tougher lending restrictions is an endorsement of our long-held view that policymakers are likely to implement tougher measures to curb speculative activity in the property market and address rising household indebtedness. Although the decision will ultimately hurt profitability going forward, we view the move as a highly positive development for the long-term health of Malaysia's banking sector.