By Aidila Razak, KiniBiz

Insurance owners have five years to sell down stake

Individual owners of insurance companies will have five years to comply with the 10-percent shareholdings limit of the yet-to-be gazetted Financial Services Act 2012 (FSA).

This was the “transitional requirement” stated in a briefing by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to insurers on the Act on Feb 6, 2013.

“Existing shareholders exceeding the limit shall take steps to comply within five years from the commencement date,” BNM said in its handout sighted by KiniBiz.

The Act is expected to commence on May 2, BNM said in the handout.

Among those who could be affected are Tune Insurance owners Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun - who collectively own 72 percent of the company - and Lonpac Insurance owner Teh Hong Piow who owns 44 percent of the company.

Section 92 of the Act states that individuals have a maximum permissible holding of 10 percent.

The Act appears silent on any grace period for the owners of banks.

Banks owned by individuals include Public Bank (24 percent owned by Teh), Hong Leong Bank (79 percent owned by Quek Leng Chan) and Ambank (17 percent owned by Azman Hashim).

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