LH stresses it will not divest its stake in the LHFG after Taiwanese group ups stake in local Thai bank

Land & Houses Plc (LH), the country’s largest real-estate firm, said that it was not looking to divest its stake in LH Financial Group Plc (LHFG), after LHFG’s foreign partner CTBC Bank opted to raise its stake to 46.61 per cent yesterday.

“We still do not have any plan to sell, just make some changes at the Board level soon,” a source from LH told Thai Enquirer on Thursday.

Among the positions that could be up for changes could be the position of the Chairman, currently occupied by Rutt Phanijphand, the former Chief Executive Officer of Quality Houses Plc (QH). 

CTBC’s raising of the stake to about 50 per cent would also mean that the Taiwanese bank would have more board seats than LH in the very near future, the source said.

CTBC Bank announced this week that it had purchased an additional 10.99 per cent stake from Piangjai Harnpanij and Pairoj Paisarnsrisomsuk. The purchase has received the approval from the Bank of Thailand and its stake in LHFG would rise to 46.61 per cent.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities said that CTBC Bank’s increased stake could see LHFG giving more emphasis on small & medium sized enterprises.

After the transaction CTBC will hold 46.6 per cent in LHFG followed by LH with 22 per cent and QH with 14%.

Maybank Kim Eng said that the major shareholder of CTBC is the Khoo family that also is the major shareholder of listed consumer finance (trucks) Asia Sermkij (ASK) and a stockbroker KGI Securities (KGI). 

“Between these three organizations we expect synergies that may lead to greater penetration into corporate Thailand and possibly profits/returns,” Marial Lapiz of Maybank Kim Eng said in a note to clients.

She noted that the partner of the Khoo family in their ASK venture is the Sophonpanich family, shareholders of the Bangkok Bank Plc (BBL) Group.

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