Thanachart Capital shares up 5 pct after insurance sale

BANGKOK Sun Nov 4, 2012 10:14pm EST

BANGKOK Nov 5 (Reuters) - Shares in Thanachart Capital Pcl rose more than 5 percent to a three-week high on Monday after its Thanachart Bank unit announced it was selling its insurance unit to Prudential Pcl

Thanachart Bank, Thailand's fifth-largest lender, is owned 51 percent by Thanachart Capital and 49 percent by Bank of Nova Scotia.

At 0305 GMT, Thanachart Capital shares were up 4 percent at 39 baht after hitting 39.75 baht, the highest since Oct 12. The broad index was 0.13 percent lower.

Prudential has agreed to buy the insurance unit of Thanachart Bank for 368 million pounds ($590 million) in cash, helping the British insurer double its market share in the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market.

Thanachart Bank Chief Financial Officer Anuwat Luengtaweekul told Reuters the gains from the insurance divestment will help boost the bank's capital by 2 percent, which will ease market concerns about its need to raise capital.

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