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 where a target's headquarters is located, is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity.
* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA confirmed that it is examining a potential deal with Generali following a report in Italy's La Stampa suggesting that Germany's Allianz Group and Intesa were putting together a possible offer for Generali, in which the German insurer would buy some of Generali's assets and Intesa would invest €5 billion to €6 billion to protect Italian interests.
A "source familiar with the matter" told Reuters that Intesa could make an all-share bid for Generali.
* A company controlled by oil company Rosneft is believed to be among three final bidders for Vnesheconombank units Interregional Bank for Settlements of the Telecommunications & Postal Services and GLOBEX Commercial Bank JSC. The other two bidders are entities associated with banker Artem Avetisyan and non-state pension fund NPF Blagosostoyanie, which controls Absolut Bank (PAO).
The potential buyer will be chosen in mid-February and the sale could be completed in the first quarter.
* Banco BPM SpA is reportedly exploring a sale of asset management unit Aletti Gestielle SGR SpA as it seeks to optimize its assets. The bank has asked Barclays to do a general review of the business, which has about €17 billion in AUM and could be valued at €500 million. Aletti is likely to pursue a merger with Anima Holding SpA, in which BPM holds a 14.67% stake. However, BPM is expected to also seek bids from other companies, including France-based Amundi SA and U.K.-based Aberdeen Asset Management Plc.
* JSC Halyk Savings Bank of Kazakhstan entered into a preliminary discussion with JSC Kazkommertsbank and its majority shareholder, Kenges Rakishev, over a possible deal. The two banks previously dismissed speculation about a potential merger in November 2016.
* JSC VTB Bank is reportedly negotiating the purchase of Russian regional lenders PJSC West Siberian Commercial Bank, or Zapsibkombank, and OAO AKB SKB-Bank. VTB had shown interest in purchasing Zapsibkombank in 2016; negotiations were suspended at the time but have recently resumed.
* Aon Plc is said to be in advanced talks to sell its benefits outsourcing business to private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC, which submitted a bid of about $4.5 billion earlier in January, edging out a competing bid from Blackstone Group LP.
Rest of the World
* Prudential Plc, AIA Group Ltd. and Manulife Financial Corp. are among firms interested in acquiring Thailand-based Siam Commercial Bank PCL's insurance business. The initial bids for a partial or complete sale of the business are expected to be submitted in early February.
* Dubai private equity firm Abraaj Group would consider acquiring a stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd. if majority owner Barclays Plc were to make it available, CEO Arif Naqvi said. Barclays intends to sell down its stake in Barclays Africa to less than 20% over the next few years.