UPDATE 3-As Modi prepares for Trump meeting, U.S. expected to OK India drone purchase
* Unarmed drones would help watch Chinese navy (Adds Congressional source; State Department declining comment in paragraph 9)
(Adds details on additional bidders, Gaw's bid, Parnas earnings)
By Joyce Lee
SEOUL, July 17 Hong Kong-based private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners is among several parties that have submitted binding bids for a controlling stake in South Korea's Parnas Hotel Co Ltd, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The deal is seen worth around 600-800 billion won ($583.12-$777.49 million), two of the people said.
Majority shareholder GS Engineering & Construction is selling its 67.6 percent stake in the hotel operator, which had a book value of around 473.5 billion won as of end-2013.
Other bidders include local financial services group Mirae Asset Financial Group and Seoul-based private equity firm IMM, one of the sources said.
State-controlled casino operator Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd said in a regulatory filing it had participated in Gaw's bid. The country's sovereign wealth fund, Korea Investment Corp, had also joined Gaw Capital's bid as an investor, two of the sources said.
All three people declined to be identified as the bidding process was confidential.
GS E&C, Mirae Asset and Gaw Capital declined to comment. IMM declined to comment.
In May, Gaw Capital made its first investment in South Korea in an office building in Seoul's central business district, in a deal which local media reported at about $225 million.
Parnas Hotel operates four facilities in Seoul, including two first-class hotels in the wealthy Gangnam area, a hotel in the tourist hot spot of Myeong-dong and a convention centre in the central business district.
It reported 180.8 billion won in revenue and 18.9 billion won in operating profit in 2013.
($1 = 1,027.90 Korean won) (Editing by Matt Driskill)
TOKYO The dollar was little changed on Friday as traders marked time ahead of next week's U.S. inflation-linked indicators, while commodity currencies such as the Canadian dollar held to gains after crude oil prices bounced.