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UK's Starling attracts interest; Zurich in talks for MetLife unit

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UK's Starling attracts interest; Zurich in talks for MetLife unit

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential deal activity in the financial sectors of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This summary, which is displayed according to the location of a target's headquarters, is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity.

Europe

* U.K. fintech Nucleus Financial Group PLC received takeover offers from potential buyers, including investment platform provider IntegraFin Holdings PLC and private equity firm Epiris LLP in conjunction with its associate, James Hay Partnership Management Ltd., as well as Aquiline Capital Partners LLC and Allfunds (UK) Ltd. However, Aquiline backed out of the bidding process after it was announced, leaving IntegraFin, Epiris and Allfunds as the U.K.-based financial technology company's potential suitors.

* PAO Credit Bank of Moscow said it plans to acquire small Russian peer Koltso Urala Commercial Bank OOO from its strategic partner, Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co., meeting the strategic priorities of the parties to improve the quality of financial services for companies forming the UMMC group and their employees.

* U.K. digital challenger Starling Bank Ltd. has attracted takeover interest from larger British peer Lloyds Banking Group PLC and U.S.-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Times reported Nov. 28. CEO Anne Boden said Starling intends to pursue an IPO and is not interested in any "past, present or future" offers, Financial News reported.

* Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group AG is in advanced talks to strike a deal with MetLife Inc. in acquiring its U.S. property and casualty business for about $4 billion, sources told Reuters.

Middle East

* Lebanon's BLOM Bank SAL is in exclusive discussions to potentially sell its 99.42% stake in unit BLOM Bank Egypt SAE to Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp. (BSC).

Africa

* Nigerian banking group Access Bank PLC is interested in acquiring British Virgin Islands-based Atlas Mara Ltd.'s businesses in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia as part of its plans to operate in 22 African nations over the next five years, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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