After taking control of 30% shares in Mina Padi Investama Securitas, Setiawan Ichlas plans to take control of Syariah-lender Bank Muamalat.
By Albert W. Nonto
Setiawan Ichlas, 40, was just an ordinary businessman until two years ago, but he made big headlines last year when he posted an order for the purchase of 51% of Bank Muamalat series B shares, equal to 80 million shares valued at about Rp4.5 trillion. He made many people at the stock market raise their eyebrows because of his intention to buy and sell through the secondary market or by direct purchase. The South Sumatran businessman had already taken some bold steps to become a prominent market disrupter. One was when he took over a majority of Bank Pundi’s shares from private equity firm ReCapital Group, of tycoon Roslan P Roeslani, head of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). After the bank became healthy he sold it to the province of Banten, which then turned it into Bank Pembangunan Daerah Banten, the Banten provincial bank. He retained control of 20% of shares, with 51% owned by the local government and the remainder still in the hands of ReCapital Securitas.
In August, he bought 13.27% or 437 billion shares at Mina Padi Investama Securitas at a share price of Rp350, valuing the purchase at about Rp350 billion. Currently the company’s shares are trading at around Rp1,100, triple their value when he made his move. With the money he made in that deal plus a foreign loan syndication and the involvement of some pension funds, many market observers believe he now has what it takes to make the plan to buy Bank Muamalat’s shares a reality. Early in November, he increased his ownership in Mina Padito to 30%, further enhancing his chances with Bank Muamalat.
Setyawan, or Iwan to his friends, has been in business since the early age of 16 in his home town of Lubuk Linggau in South Sumatra. Starting business from scratch, he did whatever was necessary to survive, operating in computer service and education, music rental and other small business. With the money he earned he bought a plantation in Lampung and entered coal mining. In coal mining and trading he did well from the boom of commodity prices between 2011 and 2012. From there he become a regular coal supplier for the domestic market, particularly for state utility PLN. Born into a simple family, Iwan attended school in Palembang, then tried to enrol at the Institute of Technology in Bandung and the University of Indonesia but didn’t make the grade. He then registered at the STIE Perbanas banking institute in Jakarta, while continuing to do business in his home province, concentrating on agribusiness and mining.
With the ambition to do fair business, Iwan targeted a majority of shares in Bank Muamalat. He saw this as an opportunity to adopt fair business practices, sharing loss and profit between the bank and the investors. His net worth just from his shares in Mina Padi Investama Securitas is estimated to be close to Rp2.1 trillion. If his plan to acquire Bank Muamalat comes off, his net worth will double, giving him the ability to be a significant disrupter in the capital market. Bank Muamalat demonstrated relatively weak performance last year compared to 2016, even though it continues to expand its credit, reaching Rp25 trillion. The bank now has Rp40 trillion in assets but net profit has declined.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), one of the bank’s shareholders, is happy with Iwan’s plan to become the majority shareholder because he plans to donate 2.5% of its profit to the organization to support its activities in Indonesia.