Thai Siam Commercial Bank eyes 25 pct stake sale in life insurance unit-sources

HONG KONG/BANGKOK Sept 2 Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:32am EDT

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HONG KONG/BANGKOK Sept 2 (Reuters) - Siam Commercial Bank , Thailand's third-largest lender, is in talks to sell a 25 percent stake in its life insurance business SCB Life Assurance PCL, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Siam Commercial Bank is mostly in discussions with Japanese insurers, though no deal is imminent, they added, declining to be identified as the plans were confidential.

The stake sale could fetch about $600 million based on SCB Life's current market value of $2.4 billion.

Siam Commercial Bank's planned sale comes three years after it bought out New York Life from a life insurance joint venture for 8.4 billion baht ($262 million).

The bank, which owns a 94.7 percent stake in SCB Life, declined to comment.

(1 US dollar = 32.0200 Thai baht) (Reporting by Denny Thomas in HONG KONG, Manunphattr Dhanananphorn and Khettiya Jittapong in BANGKOK; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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