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Potential deal activity in EMEA financial sector through Oct. 5

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 the location of a target's headquarters, is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity.


* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA agreed to sell Belgian unit Banca Monte Paschi Belgio SA to U.S.-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC for €42 million. The deal will not have a meaningful impact on Monte dei Paschi's common equity Tier 1 ratio and was already accounted for in its restructuring plan. Rothschild & Co. advised on Monte dei Paschi the potential sale.

* Natixis is now looking at Asian boutique investment banks, and is also interested in asset managers focused on infrastructure assets in the U.S. and Europe, and intends to reduce its payments business in France, the Financial Times said.

* Crédit Agricole SA's Polish unit, Crédit Agricole Bank Polska SA, dropped out the running to acquire Euro Bank SA because the price sought by its current owner, Société Générale SA, was too high, Parkiet reported. Millennium BCP's Bank Millennium SA is leading the race for Euro Bank.

* Banco BPM SpA is expecting binding offers from a shortlist of three potential buyers of a portfolio of nonperforming loans amounting to as much as €9.5 billion, according to Reuters. Prospective investors will be able to submit multiple offers, given that the final size of the book to be sold has not been determined. The sale originally targeted most of the debt in the portfolio but the recent sell-off of Italian assets had put a crimp in that plan by eroding the bank's capital buffers, which a bad-loan sale would likely deplete.

* A group of investors being led by Numis Securities Ltd. founder Oliver Hemsley agreed commercial terms of a deal to acquire a majority stake in NEX Group PLC's NEX Exchange Ltd., the Financial Times reported. The deal will inject £10.5 million into NEX Exchange in return for a 55% stake, valuing the trading platform at £20 million. The transaction is subject to approval by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which is expected in the second half of the 2018-2019 fiscal year. NEX Group will retain a significant minority stake in NEX Exchange after completion.

Middle East and Africa

* The Tunisian unit of Qatar's Majda Group won a bidding process to acquire the Tunisian government's majority stakes in Banque Zitouna SA and insurer Zitouna Takaful Insurance for 370 million Tunisian dinars, Reuters reported. The Majda unit will acquire 67% and 70% stakes in Banque Zitouna and Zitouna Takaful, respectively.

* African Phoenix Investments Ltd. plans to acquire "meaningful" stakes in companies in a number of industries, including security, packaging and telecommunications, Bloomberg News reported. African Phoenix is eyeing midsize companies generating profits of 40 million rand to 50 million rand. Two deals are currently undergoing due diligence.

* Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group Ltd. entered exclusive negotiations to transfer the management of its US$1 billion healthcare fund to TPG Capital Management LP, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal with TPG should be finalized by the end of 2018.

Rest of the world

* U.K.-based Prudential PLC and Canada's Sun Life Financial Inc. are among the bidders looking to acquire Commonwealth Bank of Australia's 80% stake in its Indonesian insurance venture, PT Commonwealth Life, Reuters reported. The stake sale, which could value PT Commonwealth Life at between $250 million and $300 million, also received second-round bids from Hong Kong-based FWD Group Mgmt Holdings Ltd., Singapore-based Great Eastern Holdings Ltd. and Indonesia-based PT Asuransi Jiwa Sequis Life. A further short-listing process will be carried out in the next few weeks, with CBA to choose a buyer thereafter.

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