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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 report.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s efforts to find a buyer for its New Zealand-based subsidiary, UDC Finance Ltd., and plans by two Malaysian banks for a possible merger made headlines in an otherwise slow December 2019.

ANZ reportedly shortlisted several bidders for asset-backed finance provider UDC Finance, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The shortlisted bidders include U.S.-based Apollo Global Management Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management LP. The second round of the auction is expected to start in mid-January. Morgan Stanley is advising the bank on the sale.

Below is a snapshot of December 2019 reports of possible deals compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Meanwhile, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd. and Danajamin Nasional Bhd. obtained approval from Malaysia's central bank to start merger talks, Bernama reported. The proposed merger is part of a government plan to restructure and strengthen the development financial institutions of the country. If the proposed merger pushes through, the next stage would be merging Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd. and Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Bhd.

In South Asia, India's IDBI Bank Ltd. is considering selling its stake in stressed assets collector Asset Reconstruction Co. (India) Ltd. to U.S.-based hedge fund Avenue Capital Group LLC, as part of its efforts to monetize its noncore investments, The Economic Times reported. Avenue Capital currently holds a roughly 27% stake in Asset Reconstruction, and the potential acquisition of IDBI Bank's stake will make it the largest shareholder in the company. A potential deal is still subject to regulatory approvals.

In neighboring Pakistan, a group of investors plans to acquire an additional 45.03% stake in Next Capital Ltd. The investor group is led by Next Capital CEO Muhammad Najam Ali and includes Hanna Khan and Zulqarnain Khan, members of the company's board. The investor group currently owns a 29.95% stake in Next Capital.