This article analyses the changes of ownership and identities of Malaysia's locallyowned banks in a series of merger and acquisitions (M&A) within national border and beyond. The article begins with description of the establishments of local banks in Malaya and later Malaysia which were mainly founded and owned by ethnic Chinese. The author then examines how the internal factors (protracted affirmative action policy and the consolidations of local banks by the state) and external factors (forces of globalization) had changed Malaysia's local banks from mainly Chinese-owned to state-owned and from medium-size domestically-based to large-scale regionally-based banking groups. The author shows how the internal factors have been shaping the ownership and identity of Malaysian banks, which aim to facilitate the formation of a Malay entrepreneurial class. The author also show how the external factors have been shaping the strategies and size of the Malaysian banking groups to become huge regional banks to compete with foreign banks for sizable and value deals in the region, in the context of greater liberalization of the financial sector.
Affirmative action policy Bank consolidation Liberalization of financial sector Chinese Bumiputera Expansion of local banks