The UAE bank is currently discussing buying the stake from the Malaysian government owned Employees Provident Fund, which holds 82.23 per cent of RHB and has said it plans to bring its stake down to 35 per cent by July 2008.

ADCB says it plans to build RHB into one of the top three financial services institutions in the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) region by 2020. Eirvin Knox, chief executive officer of ABCD, said: “This banking group has great potential to be a regional player. We believe that and RHB Capital have strong synergies that can take this financial services group to the next level. We are especially confident of leveraging on each other’s strengths in Islamic banking.”

RHB is the fourth largest local bank in Malaysia, while its Islamic banking arm, RHB Islamic Bank is the sixth largest Islamic bank in the country.