Overseas investors have expressed interest in buying a one-fifth stake in Bank Victoria International, a mid-sized lender based in Jakarta.
Bank Victoria has already held talks with investors from the Persian Gulf countries, Asia and Europe.
“One investor from Europe has sent its letter of intent to us,” Andrew A. Haswin, alternate president director of the bank, said recently. He did not name the potential investors or set a time frame for the stake sale.
The lender may sell between 15 percent and 20 percent of its stake to foreign investors because it wants to consolidate to face stiff competition in the region.
The central bank, Bank Indonesia, has been coaxing the country’s commercial lenders to consolidate and strengthen their footing amid global financial turmoil.
There are about 120 commercial lenders operating in Indonesia.
Andrew said foreign investment was expected to help Bank Victoria expand in Indonesia.
Some Indonesian banks are controlled by overseas investors. Bank Danamon Indonesia, for example, is controlled by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, while HSBC controls Bank Ekonomi, a small lender.
By the end of the year, RHB Capital, a Malaysian investor, is expected to complete its takeover of Bank Mestika Dharma, which is based in Medan.
South Korea’s Woori Group plans to buy 33 percent stake in Bank Himpunan Saudara 1906 through its Indonesian unit, Bank Woori Indonesia.
Bank Victoria International is 35.16 percent owned by Victoria Sekuritas, 3.36 percent by Nata Patindo, 6.4 percent by Suryayudha Investindo Cipta, 13.47 percent by Indonesian citizen Suzanna Tanojo, 9.05 percent by Emirates Tarian Asset Management and 32.56 percent by the public, according to the lender’s website.
Shares of Bank Victoria rose 0.8 percent to Rp 120 on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Monday. The shares have fallen 7 percent so percent so far this year.