OCBC in talks with Thai tycoon to sell United Engineers stake - sources

SINGAPORE Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:25am EDT

SINGAPORE Aug 21 (Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , Singapore's second-biggest lender, is in talks with a group linked to Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi to sell its stake in property firm United Engineers Ltd, two people familiar with the talks said.

OCBC and its linked companies have a nearly 36 percent deemed interest in United Engineers, according to its 2013 annual report.

If the talks succeed, the Charoen-linked group will have to make a takeover bid for United Engineers, which has a market value of $1.2 billion.

The sources declined to be identified because the deal is not public. OCBC declined to comment, while United Engineers did not provide an immediate response.

Charoen-linked companies could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bloomberg reported the news of talks between OCBC and Charoen earlier.

United Engineers' shares were up 7.42 percent at S$2.46 before being halted on Thursday. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Rujun Shen; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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