Thai lender Thanachart had talks on buying ING's TMB Bank stake-source

HONG KONG Wed Feb 5, 2014 10:56pm EST

HONG KONG Feb 6 (Reuters) - Thanachart Bank has held discussions with ING Groep about buying the Dutch financial services company's 31 percent stake TMB Bank Pcl , but no current talks are going on between the two parties, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Thanachart Bank, which is 49 percent owned by Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia, has been interested in acquiring the stake for some time, but Thailand's political stalemate has slowed negotiations, the person added.

ING's 31 percent holding in TMB is valued at about $942 million based on Wednesday's closing price. The Dutch financial services firm has been selling its non-core businesses as part of a wider asset programme to pay down the state aid it received during the global financial crisis.

A Singapore-based spokesman for ING declined comment, while Thanachart Bank was not available for immediate comment.

Finance Asia magazine first reported Thanachart's interest in buying ING's sake.

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