Thai Bank of Ayudhya denies report of MUFG offer for stake

BANGKOK Thu May 23, 2013 2:04am EDT

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Bank of Ayudhya Pcl (BAY.BK), Thailand's fifth-largest lender, denied a newspaper report that Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (8306.T) had offered to buy General Electric's (GE.N) stake in it for 40 baht per share.

"The news is groundless," President Philip Tan told reporters on Thursday.

Thai-language Khao Hoon newspaper cited a financial market source as saying that MUFG would buy the 25.3 percent stake from GE Capital International Holding Corporation.

At the midsession break, Bank of Ayudhya shares were up 0.7 percent at 36 baht, outperforming a 1.6 percent drop in the broad index .SETI. The stock rose sharply on Wednesday on speculation over the stake sale, which could be worth $2 billion.

In addition to Mitsubishi UFJ, Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional Bhd KHAZA.UL is reported to be interested in buying the stake.

(Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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