S&P Global MarketIntelligence presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential dealactivity in the financial sectors of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thissummary, which is displayed according to where a target's headquarters is located,is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and maynot be inclusive of all potential deal activity.
* The European Commission authorized an of the sale process for foursmall Italian bridge banks — Nuova Banca delle Marche SpA, , Nuova Cassa diRisparmio di Ferrara SpA and Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Chieti SpA. The timelines ofthe process are kept confidential to protect the effectiveness of the saleprocess, the EC said. The four bridge banks are the successors to ,Banca Popolare dell'Etruria e delLazio SC, CARIFESpA and Cassa diRisparmio della Provincia di Chieti SpA.
* UniCreditSpA is reportedly carrying out informal discussions with a number of banks regarding apotential sale of online lender FinecoBank SpA, for which the Italian lender is hopingto fetch no less than €2.5 billion. Banca Generali SpA, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and , among others, were thelenders reportedly approached by UniCredit. However, all parties are far aparton the price for the business, with initial tentative offers coming in at about€2 billion. A spokesman for Intesa Sanpaolo denied any interest in FinecoBank,and so has Banca Generali General Manager Gian Maria Mossa.
* CommerzbankAG will spinoff its exchange-traded fund business with a view to ultimatelyselling it to reduce the lender's balance sheet risk, Commerzbank CEO MartinZielke reportedly said.
* Royal Bankof Scotland Group Plc's Ulster Bank Ltd. would be allowed to pursue potentialacquisitions inIreland, if the unit cleans up its own business first over the next 12 months,RBS CEO Ross McEwan reportedly said. Permanent TSB Group Holdings Plc and 's could be UlsterBank's potential targets, with a decision on the future of KBC's Irish unit tocome later in 2016. Ulster Bank Ltd. operates in the Republic of Ireland asUlster Bank IrelandDAC.
* CréditAgricole Group's French asset manager reportedly offered€4 billion to acquireUniCredit SpA's Pioneer GlobalAsset Management SpA. Amundi, Australia-based , U.K.-basedAberdeen Asset ManagementPlc and a consortium led by Poste Italiane SpA are reportedly competing for theUniCredit unit and reportedly reached the second phase of bidding. Amundi's higher-than-expectedoffer has pushed Poste Italiane to search for a financial partner in order toup its own bid for the asset management company.Amundi and Poste Italiane are reportedly front-runners in the bidding.
* BancoSantander SA unit Santander UK Plc reportedly bid for MBNA Ltd.. Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp. reportedly asked certain bidders,including Lloyds Banking Group Plcand Cerberus Capital ManagementLP, to submit revised offers for the U.K. credit card issuer, afterrejecting attempts by parties interested in MBNA to get themselves coveredagainst future payment protection insurance costs.
* London StockExchange Group Plc confirmed that it and LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd.intend to explore a potentialsale of LCH.Clearnet SA. Any sale would be subject to approval bythe EC with respect to the recommended merger of and LSE and otherconditions. EuronextNV has commencedinternal deliberations regarding a potential bid for the clearing housebusiness. If Euronext fails to reach a deal to acquire LCH, theNetherlands-based firm could instead strengthen its partnership with EuroCCP,according to a report.
* The shareholders of COMMERCIAL BANK UNIASTRUM BANK (LLC) and are setto approve the mergerof the two lenders Oct. 7, RBK Dailyreported, citing Uniastrum Bank's beneficiary owner, Artem Avetisyan. Thebusinessman denied recent media reports that the upcoming merger had beensuspended,attributing delays to technical issues. A source said negotiations are plannedwith Credit Europe BankNV's Credit EuropeBank Ltd. to join the merged lender.
* The German government is secretly working on an"emergency strategy" for Deutsche Bank AG that includes plans for a potentialbailout of the troubled lender and could result in parts of it being , Die Zeit reported. If absolutely required, the government couldalso buy a 25% stake in Deutsche. However, the German government said there isno truth to an emergency rescue plan being drawn up for Deutsche Bank.
* Spanish bank restructuring fund FROB said that it wouldlook into a possible merger between Bankia SA and Banco Mare Nostrum SA as well as other options in a bidto maximize the value of the two banks and facilitate the repayment of publicaid injected into them.
* AllianzGroup is reportedly examining various strategic alternatives for unitOldenburgische LandesbankAG, including a partial or total sale of the regional private bank.Commerzbank AG and U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC submitted nonbinding offersfor the bank, sources told a newswire. Allianz, which holds about a 90% stakein the bank, is in discussions with interested parties, the lender reportedlysaid, with a spokesman for the insurer saying the matter is "at an earlyphase of consideration."
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc CEO McEwan that the bank waslooking at alternate options to divest its Williams & Glyn unit, afterBanco Santander backed out of talks to buy it over a pricing disagreement.CYBG Plc, which ownsthe Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, is reportedly in the Williams & Glynbusiness.
* StandardChartered Plc is reportedly on the verge of finalizing a managementbuyout proposal forits principal finance division, which would be controlled by an internal teamled by unit head Joseph Stevens.
* KBC Group NV CEO Johan Thijs reportedly said the bankwould "look at" Budapest Hitel- és Fejlesztési Bank Zártköruen MuködoRt., if the Hungarian government decides to sell it, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, L'Echo reported that KBC Group isinterested in acquiring UnitedBulgarian Bank AD and had hired JPMorgan to advise on a potentialtransaction.
* UNIQAInsurance Group AG reportedly mandated KPMG to identify buyers for Italian businessesUniqa Assicurazioni, Uniqa Previdenza and Uniqa Life. According to a report,private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and Cinven were among thebidders. Società Cattolica diAssicurazione - SC and Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni are alsoparticipating in the bidding process, according to the sources. The move isreportedly part of the group's strategy to focus on central and easternEuropean countries following a profit warning in March.
Rest of the world
* ABN AMROGroup NV is considering a sale of its Asian private banking business. The companyhas reportedly engaged a financial adviser and reached out to possible buyers.A news source noted that talks are at a preliminary stage.