RHB Bank has obtained permission from Malaysian central bank to start negotiations to offload up to 94.7% of its shares in its general insurance business to Tokio Marine Asia.

The Bank Negara Malaysia, according to thestar.com, in its statement said that: “It has no objection for the company to commence negotiations with Tokio Marine in relation to the proposed disposal of up to 94.7% of its equity interest in RHB Insurance.”

“Pursuant to the Financial Services Act 2013, the relevant parties will be required to obtain the prior approval of the Minister of Finance, with the recommendation of Bank Negara, before entering into any definitive agreement to effect the proposed disposal,” the statement added.

The permission will be effective for a period of six months.

Earlier, the Japanese property and casualty insurer said that it will actively pursue deals in international market as part of its plan to diversify its revenue streams in various geographies.

On 31 July, Bursa Securities suspended trading in shares of RHB Bank pending the announcement.

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The bank said that a detailed announcement on the proposed sell of shares will be made once the definitive agreement is signed.

RHB Insurance is a non-core asset for RHB Bank. The bank intends to invest the proceeds from sale of RHB Insurance to boost its commercial banking business. The lender has been trying to offload its insurance operations since 2015-2016.