Maybank, a Malaysia-based financial services firm, has agreed to acquire 44.6% stake in Kim Eng, a Singapore-based stock brokerage firm, for $617m.

The bank signed sale and purchase agreements with Kim Eng’s stake holders Ronald Anthony Ooi Thean Yat and Yuanta Securities Asia Financial Services for the acquisition of 15.4% and 29.2% stakes, respectively.

The proposed acquisition will see Maybank emerge as the single largest shareholder in Kim Eng with an intention to acquire the remaining 55.4% of Kim Eng shares and delist the company. The total estimated purchase consideration for 100% of Kim Eng would be $1.4bn.

Upon the completion of the transaction, current CEO of Kim Eng Ronald Anthony Ooi will continue to lead Kim Eng as in the same role, said Maybank.

Kim Eng has ASEAN operations in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, Vietnam as well as in global markets Hong Kong, New York and London.

Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said Kim Eng gives an immediate platform to aggressively build up the global wholesale banking capabilities in ASEAN and beyond.

"Immediately, Kim Eng gives us entry into Thailand. We welcome the Kim Eng leadership team and employees into the Maybank Group," Mohd Nor said.