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* Maybank is offering 300 million new shares in base deal * Shares offered in 8.80-8.90 per share range
* Deal a further boost to Malaysia's flourishing stock offerings
By Daniel Stanton and Denny Thomas
HONG KONG, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) , the country's largest lender, is seeking to raise up to $1.2 billion with a new share offer, capital markets news service IFR said on Friday.
Banks in Southeast Asia are beefing up core capital to accommodate the rapid growth in lending in the region and to meet the stringent new solvency requirements of the Basel III global banking regulations.
The fund raising comes just a week after sources told Reuters that Maybank was among the potential bidders approached by U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co to sell its $1.6 billion stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya . .
Maybank is offering 300 million new shares, in a range of 8.8-8.9 ringgit each, a discount of up to 3 percent to the average trading price over the previous five days, said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, citing a term sheet for the sale.
Maybank's shares closed on Friday at 8.99 ringgit, trading on a price-to-earnings ratio of around 12.56, which compares with a median of 12.32 for all Malaysian banks.
The new funds will be used to strengthen the company's capital base, support its "growth objectives" and meet the Basel III capital requirements, IFR said.
The offer can be expanded by an additional 112 million shares depending on the strength of demand, it added.
Maybank's offering adds to Malaysia's flourishing capital market deals this year with the tally for share offers at $7.3 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all new listings in Asia-Pacific and well up from about $1.8 billion in Malaysia in the same period last year.
Maybank and UBS are managing the share offer, IFR added.
(Additional reporting by Elzio Barreto; Reporting by Daniel Stanton of IFR; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
Keywords: MAYBANK OFFERING/