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Exclusivity agreement precedes Malaysia bank merger

CIMB Group Holdings, RHB Capital and the Malaysia Building Society have gone into a 90-day exclusivity agreement for a proposed merger of the three financial institutions and the creation of a mega-Islamic bank.

This in effect means that there will not be any competing bids for RHB Capital during this period, leave the three parties to concentrate on striking a deal that is acceptable to all.

The three financial institutions announced yesterday that they had received a green light from the Malaysian central bank to commence exclusive negotiations for the proposed merger.

Under terms of the agreement, the parties have 90 days to hammer out the pricing structure and other relevant terms and conditions for what could be the creation of Malaysia's largest bank in terms of assets.

They announced that the approval of Bank Negara Malaysia, the country's central bank, was valid for a period of six months from July 10.

In a joint statement, the parties said: "There will be an automatic extension of the exclusivity period upon a submission being made to the central bank by the parties on the proposed merger, until the date of execution of the relevant definitive agreement(s) to effect the proposed merger." - The Star/Asia News Network

Raids in Philippines uncover deception

The Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government disclosed a new modus operandi of rice hoarders early last week as it inspected a warehouse in Malolos city, Bulacan province.

The dirty trick is mixing rice imported from Thailand with broken rice intended for animal feed and selling it as premium Sinandomeng rice.

The duplicity was discovered when Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was inspecting the Purefeeds Corp warehouse at the First Industrial Centre in Barangay Tikay, Malolos.

"The broken rice residue intended for animal feeds came from Vietnam and was being mixed with Blue Diamond rice imported from Thailand, and then repacked and sold as Golden Bee premium Sinandomeng rice," Roxas explained.

The inspection team was made up of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Bulacan local officials and representatives of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Food Authority and the Bureau of Customs.

Roxas said Jomerito Soliman, the owner of Purefeeds Corp, could be charged with violation of Philippine trade laws.

Operations of the rice mill will be temporarily suspended as charges are being readied against the warehouse owner.

During the inspection, 32,000 sacks of assorted broken rice intended for animal feed and regular rice imported from Thailand were discovered in the warehouse.

Senior Superintendent Ferdinand Divina, Bulacan police acting director, said two trucks loaded with 900 sacks of the adulterated or mixed rice were prevented from leaving the warehouse. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

Wangkanai changes packaging

Wangkanai Sugar has revamped its packaging to feature "the farmer's smile" to strengthen the brand's "health-conscious from farmers to consumers" identity, while simultaneously introducing a 1-kilogram organic sugar pack.

Tanyaruk Na Wangkanai, group public relations director, said the company's marketing plan for this year was focused on strengthening the brand's image as "not all sugar is the same" through the packaging revamp across five products - special white sugar, special refined sugar, natural sugar, demerara sugar, and organic sugar. The five new packaging designs feature the smiles of sugar-cane farmers living in the Central and Northeastern regions along with the key message "low-chemical sugar".

"The new packaging makeover is one of Wangkanai's marketing strategies to promote and support organic sugar-cane farming without the use of chemical substances, since this not only enhances the quality of life for farmers and consumers through the production and consumption of low-chemical or organic sugar but considerably raises the bar on quality of Thailand's agricultural products," Tanyaruk said.


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