Nov 29 Japan's biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group is among the suitors to submit
preliminary bids for General Electric's (GE) $1.5 billion
stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya
, sources said.
GE received "multiple" bids last week for its 25.3 percent
stake in Bank of Ayudhya, one source with direct knowledge of
the matter told Reuters, adding that the short-listed parties
may put in second-round bids after Christmas.
Malaysia's No.2 lender CIMB Group Holdings was
another bidder, one of the sources said. Singapore's
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, which was earlier seen
by sources as a potential bidder, did not submit a first-round
bid for GE's stake in the Thai lender, sources said.
GE acquired a stake of about 33 percent in Bank of Ayudhya
stake in 2007, for 22.3 billion baht, or $626 million based on
the then exchange rate. In September, GE sold a 7.6 percent
stake in the Thai bank, raising about $466 million.
A buyer of GE's remaining stake would likely be looking to
take eventual control of Thailand's No. 1 retail bank, which has
a $5.9 billion market value. A purchaser would gain a foothold
in one of Asia's fastest growing economies.
Morgan Stanley, which is advising GE on the stake
sale, declined to comment.
CIMB, MUFG and OCBC declined comment. A Singapore-based GE
Capital spokesman also declined to comment. The sources declined
to be identified because the auction process is not public.