“We expect its share price to see an immediate upward reaction. This will help sustain Public Bank’s rerating," an analyst said. PETALING JAYA: Public Bank Bhd has proposed to undertake a bonus issue on a four-for-one basis, which is a record for banks in Malaysia, as it aims to reward existing shareholders for their loyalty and continuous support. It said yesterday the proposed bonus issue, which would entail the issuance of up to 15.52 billion new shares, was arrived at after considering the potential adjustments to the share price arising from the proposed bonus issue. Commenting on the bonus issue, a senior analyst said: “This is a good way to reward its shareholders. “We expect its share price to see an immediate upward reaction. This will help sustain Public Bank’s rerating.” As at Nov 30, the latest practicable date (LPD) prior to the announcement, the bank’s share capital was RM9.41bil comprising 3.88 billion shares. Upon completion of the proposed bonus issue, the share capital would be RM9.41bil comprising 19.41 billion shares. Public Bank said the entitlement date for the bonus issue would be determined and announced later upon receipt of all relevant approvals for the proposed bonus issue. It said based on the five-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) of Public Bank shares up to the LPD of RM17.9650 per share, the theoretical ex-bonus share price is approximately RM3.593. For illustrative purposes only, the theoretical ex-bonus price of the shares pursuant to the proposed bonus issue is RM3.3517 per share. This was calculated based on the three-month VWAP of the shares up to and including the LPD of about RM16.7583 per share. “The board is of the view that the proposed bonus issue is an appropriate avenue for the company to reward its existing shareholders, ” it said. Public Bank said the bonus issue would enable existing shareholders to have greater participation in the equity of the company in terms of the number of shares held, while maintaining their percentage of equity interest in the bank. The bonus issue would also result in the shares being more affordable in order to appeal to a wider group of public shareholders and investors; and is expected to enhance the trading liquidity of shares. Public Bank share price closed down 14 sen to RM18.46 yesterday, which gave it a market capitalisation of RM71.66bil.
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