Qatar Islamic Bank has pulled out of the bidding for a majority stake in Indonesian Islamic lender Bank Muamalat, banking sources said, leaving Standard Chartered as the sole remaining bidder.
Top shareholders of Indonesia's second-biggest sharia lender are aiming to sell at least 51 per cent of the unlisted Islamic lender in a deal that may be worth about $300 million (Dh1.01 billion), sources have told Reuters.
But the deal, which initially attracted interest from several parties, has seen bidders pull back due to high pricing expectations from the sellers, sources familiar with the deal said.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the Middle East hit a stumbling block after the financial crisis with many bankers blaming high seller expectations for the slowdown.
"This is just a pricing issue. I don't think it's a done deal, as there seems to be another party interested," said Samer Al Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co based in Dubai.
Qatar Islamic Bank [QIB] was seen as a front runner for the stake, two bankers familiar with the stake sale process told Reuters. QIB was concerned about the price they would have to pay for the stake, one of the sources said.
A QIB official declined to comment. The sources declined to be identified because the deal is not public. That has left Standard Chartered as the only bidder left in the race and the top contender for the stake. StanChart's Indonesian affiliate PT Bank Permata pulled out earlier, sources said.
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Bank Mandiri and Singapore's second-biggest lender Oversea-Chinese Banking have also withdrawn from the bidding process, according to the sources. Both OCBC and Mandiri have declined to comment.