from Business Times
"The most important thing is we can do equity accounting. The whole idea is to get a foot in," he said. A stake of at least 20 per cent would allow Bank Islam to do equity accounting. It is unlikely to be interested in buying into Malayan Banking Bhd's (Maybank) Indonesian subsidiary, Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), as the stake up for sale is too small. Maybank owns over 90 per cent of BII and is required by the Indonesian central bank to cut this to at least 80 per cent by June. It has hired UBS to handle the sale. Zukri says Bank Islam had not been approached about buying into BII. Bank Islam, which is ultimately controlled by pilgrims fund Lembaga Tabung Haji and is 30.5 per cent-owned by Dubai Group LLC, operates primarily in Malaysia and needs to consider acquisitions to expand abroad as competition is becoming increasingly intense at home. Indonesia, as the world's most populous Muslim nation and with its low banking penetration rate, offers Bank Islam opportunities for faster growth. But other banks, especially from the Middle East, are also chasing lenders in that market, driving up valuations. "Gone are the days where you can buy banks at under two times price-to-book value," Zukri remarked. Jakarta-based Bank Muamalat has at least 350 offices in Indonesia and a branch office in Malaysia.