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Asia-Pacific financial institutions M&A interest tracker

Editor's note: 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.

A number of potential bank deals in Southeast Asia emerged in May, notably with Malaysia's RHB Bank Bhd. and AMMB Holdings Bhd. prepping for another round of merger talks.

RHB Bank and AMMB on June 1 confirmed they will start discussions about a possible merger after securing approval from Bank Negara Malaysia. The two parties have until Aug. 30 to negotiate and finalize terms and conditions of a planned merger. The transaction is expected to be an all-share merger.

The two have danced around a possible merger for years and had reportedly held talks in 2015 but decided to suspend the deal due to political headwinds at the time.

Below is a snapshot of May reports of possible deals compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Another Malaysian firm, BIMB Holdings Bhd. confirmed reports that it is considering selling its stake in insurance unit Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd. The company said May 5 that it is exploring the possible disposal or de-merger of its investment in the subsidiary as part of a review. Bloomberg News had reported the same day that the company was mulling a sale of its 60% stake in the insurance unit. The company has reportedly reached out to banks on the potential divestment of its stake in the insurance arm.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' China Banking Corp. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. have reportedly also began talks over a potential merger, The Philippine Star reported May 21. An acquisition of RCBC by China Banking would create the fifth-largest bank in the country in terms of assets, according to the report.

Both banks denied that they are in talks for merger. China Banking said May 22 that its management was not aware of any negotiations with RCBC. RCBC separately said the same day that it is not in talks with anyone regarding a merger or a sale of a majority stake in the bank.

Another Philippine lender, East West Banking Corp. is looking for a strategic buyer to acquire a 20% stake in the bank, Bloomberg News reported May 19, citing sources. The bank is working with an adviser on the potential stake sale, the sources said.

Meanwhile, South Korea's APRO Service Group Co. Ltd. is looking to acquire another Indonesian bank after it increased its stake in PT Bank Andara. APRO plans to merge any new acquisition with Bank Andara.

There were also a number of potential bank deals in India with Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd. in talks with three banks for a possible deal. The company is open to a takeover, a merger or even a strategic stake sale, The Economic Times reported May 24, citing M.R. Rao, managing director of the company. Bharat Financial Inclusion is in talks with IDFC Bank Ltd., RBL Bank Ltd. and IndusInd Bank Ltd., and had previously announced plans earlier in May to explore strategic options.

A private equity firm backed by Apollo Global Management LLC is interested in acquiring a stake in India's Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd., Bloomberg News reported May 30. Aion Capital Partners, which is backed by Apollo Global, is one of the parties interested in acquiring a stake in the Indian bank. Everstone Capital has also approached the bank's board for a possible deal, according to sources.

To read articles about other deal possibilities, click on the following headlines:

Report: Mitsubishi UFJ to buy stake in credit card unit from Norinchukin Bank

Report: Hana Financial in talks to sell stake in Chinese unit

Report: HNA in talks to acquire stake in Value Partners

IDBI Bank to sell noncore assets, cut costs as part of turnaround plan

Report: Noor Financial Investment mulling sale of stake in Meezan Bank

SBI Card eyes merger of 2 operating entities following GE Capital's exit

Report: Indian e-payment service company attracts BlackRock funding

Report: Commonwealth Bank of Australia unit to divest IDFC stake

Report: Cerberus named as second private equity bidder for HSH Nordbank

Report: China's HNA Group, Anbang among bidders for HSH Nordbank

Report: Shanghai bourse, Nasdaq in talks for stakes in Kazakh exchange