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Asia-Pacific financial institutions M&A interest tracker

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Asia-Pacific financial institutions M&A interest tracker

This tracker covers possible deals reported by media across the Asia-Pacific region over a certain period. The information is gathered from various news sources, excludes confirmed deals and is limited to potential acquisitions or sales involving companies or operations in the region. Click here to read the previous month's article.

There were several possible deals brewing in the Indian financial sector as banks vie for the securities business of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. and stakes in two life insurance joint ventures went up for sale.

The securities business of debt-laden IL&FS has drawn interest from several bidders including ICICI Bank Ltd., Axis Bank Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd., The Economic Times reported. IL&FS Securities Services Ltd. could be sold at about 4 billion rupees. IL&FS floated the potential sale in November 2018 when the company's then newly appointed board decided to solicit expressions of interest for IL&FS Securities Services and ISSL Settlement & Transaction Services Ltd. as part of a turnaround plan for the distressed company.

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Bank of India may sell its 28.96% stake in Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd. for up to 12 billion rupees, the Press Trust of India reported. The bank is considering selling its stake as it needs to bolster its capital.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd. are acquiring a 10% stake in India-based SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. from BNP Paribas Cardif, The Economic Times reported. The French insurer is planning to trim its 22% stake in SBI Life to meet regulatory conditions needed for a public float. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between BNP and State Bank of India.

Carlyle is also eyeing a controlling stake in PNB Housing Finance Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, after Punjab National Bank renewed its plan to sell a 33% stake in the Indian housing finance company. Punjab National Bank has appointed PNB Investment Services and Credit Suisse to find buyers for a potential sale of around 52 billion rupees, The Economic Times reported. The lender has invited expressions of interest for the stake, with the buyer being decided through a bidding process.

The Indian bank and Carlyle had agreed to jointly sell at least a 51% stake in the housing finance company in July 2018 but the private equity firm dropped out of the sale process in November. Carlyle now wants to boost its stake in PNB Housing Finance as valuations for the company have become attractive.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. may acquire a 10% stake in India's Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., according to a report by CNBC-TV18. The U.S.-based company could consider acquiring the stake from Kotak Mahindra Bank's controlling shareholder, Uday Kotak, or through a preferential allotment of equity shares. The potential deal could be valued between US$4 billion to US$6 billion.

Meanwhile, some South Korean and Japanese financial institutions are seeking acquisition opportunities in overseas markets as a way to boost growth and expand their operations.

Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung said the bank will seek to grow the group's business through mergers and acquisitions, The Korea Times reported. The group plans to diversify its business portfolio after Woori Financial Group Inc., the bank's new holding company is set up.

Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd. is interested in acquiring financial technology startups as a means to strengthen its digital platform SOL, The Korea Times reported. The Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. unit will also aggressively pursue acquisitions or equity investments to expand its reach beyond the bank's traditional market.

Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. plans to use its US$12 billion in surplus capital to acquire banks in emerging Asia, Reuters reported. Takeshi Kunibe, the company's president and CEO, said the Japanese financial group is planning to offer full banking services, including retail banking services. The company is also considering acquisitions in other segments such as asset management and investment banking, with boutique M&A advisory firms as potential target companies.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. was among the shortlisted bidders for Malaysia's AmGeneral Insurance Bhd., in a deal that could be valued at US$800 million, Bloomberg reported. Allianz Malaysia Bhd. was the other short-listed bidder for the Malaysian car insurer. However, a deal is still uncertain as sellers Insurance Australia Group Ltd. and AMMB Holdings Bhd. still need to obtain approval from the central bank to hold formal talks with any potential buyer.

Further articles about other deal possibilities

Tokai Tokyo Financial eyes merger of 2 subsidiaries

China Investment Development in talks to buy stake in consumer finance company

Cinda International Holdings unit seeks buyers for 55% JV stake

Report: TMB Bank, Thanachart Bank in merger talks

TMB Bank receives offers from other lenders to combine operations, official says

Report: South Korea's DGB Financial to sell Hi Asset Management unit

China online consumer finance platform 360 Finance mulls acquisitions after IPO

Kuwait's Noor Financial in talks to further trim its stake in Meezan Bank

Bahrain's Investcorp eyes $1B investment in India

Report: Chinese payments giant Ant Financial makes £500M bid for World First