Temasek may sell stake in Indonesian bank - WSJ

Business Materials 25 February 2008 05:06 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuter )- Singapore state investor Temasek is close to a decision to sell its stake in Indonesia's sixth-biggest lender Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk (BNII.JK) in a deal estimated to be worth more than $700 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, the newspaper said Temasek was looking at starting the sale process.

Potential bidders for Temasek's (TEM.UL) stake include cash-rich Chinese banks, it said, adding that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (601398.SS) (1398.HK), China's biggest bank, had purchased a 90 percent stake in Indonesia's PT Bank Halim in December 2006.

The state investor's move is driven by Indonesia's central bank policy of prohibiting foreign investors from owning a controlling stake in more than one Indonesian lender, the Journal said.

Temasek, which is headed by the wife of Singapore's prime minister, owns its holding in Bank Internasional Indonesia through its 75-percent stake in Singapore-based Sorak Financial, which controls 55.85 percent of the Indonesian bank, according to the lender's Web site.

Apart from Bank Internasional Indonesia, Temasek also controls a stake in Indonesia's fifth-largest lender PT Bank Danamon Tbk (BDMN.JK).