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

SINGAPORE Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:28am EDT

A security guard walks under a logo of Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (OCBC) at the company's headquarters in Singapore February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

A security guard walks under a logo of Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (OCBC) at the company's headquarters in Singapore February 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC.SI), 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 (UTES.SI), 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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