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CIMB, RHB, MBSB potential merger. Just 1 cent view.

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Just plain simple point of view from me. The reasons below are why more mergers should happen sooner and not later. No merger can happen within 6 months and no significant benefits from the merger can be felt, at least for the next 12-18 months.

Competitiveness. Everyone say, with these mergers, there would be less choices and thus, less competitive. I am not sure what they meant because it is due to competitiveness that these banks are merging. Based on the competitive landscape today, the foreign banks are getting bolder, stronger, bigger and none of them are going to close down their branches and move to other countries. If the local banks continue to think that they are safe despite their size, that as long as they are efficient, they are fine, then the management are really not thinking right. Be ready, competition will continue to rise. There’s no guarantee that I will go CIMB or Maybank or Public Bank for my mortgage. I may just use Citibank or HSBC or even OCBC! OCBC is small when compared to HSBC but OCBC is still many times bigger than Maybank of today!

Timing and Pricing.  Some said, this is not the best time. Can anyone tell me when is the best time to do the merging? Yesterday? Tomorrow? 2 years and 8 days later?  Personally, the best time for any company to pursue a merger is when they are doing well. Thus every party has something to offer. If one party is by far weaker or is in distress, it’s best called acquisition, not merger. All the three banks pursuing this are doing well thus far. Let them negotiate and if everything goes well, let them proceed. Unless of course you have a better option, then suggest it. It’s so easy to be an armchair critic, in fact the best armchair critic is the one who knows nothing. “If you know a lot, then you know that you know little. If you know little, you think you know the world.”

Why not Maybank? If you can ask that, then why not CIMB? Why not Public Bank? Why not Hong Leong bank? In fact, why not a merger with OCBC, then it becomes a huge Malaysia-Singapore bank? There’s no end to possibilities. Why not just RHB and CIMB and skip MBSB, since it’s not significant? I think you get my meaning. The reason why this became big was because another issue has just been politicised despite the benefits from it. Sure, there are disadvantages, but for this one particular case I think it benefits all the three banks to be More Efficient (focus on quality not quantity; cost savings) and More Effective (bigger, thus further reach).

Please do not say that certain bank is more efficient than the certain bigger bank. In today’s world, even if you are one iconic sports car brand like Porsche, Lamborghini or even AUDI you can just be bought over by a huge car manufacturer like Volkswagen which is already the case. Some online companies have NO profits, merely using the public’s money but they are buying many of those efficiently run companies and that’s a fact, whether you want to read or chose to skip reading it.

written on 17 July 2014

Next suggested article: Bubble is still brewing in Malaysia? – Some reasons given.

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