TOKYO, June 22 Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group (MUFG) is in advanced talks to acquire a majority
stake in Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, Thailand's fifth-largest
lender, in a deal worth over $4 billion, sources familiar with
the matter said on Saturday, marking a major turn in the
protracted negotiation complicated by Thai regulations.
MUFG, Japan's largest-lender by assets, has been in talks to
buy General Electric's 25 percent stake in Bank of Ayudhya for
months, but Thailand's single presence policy on bank ownership
has turned out to be a big hurdle as the Japanese bank has
sizable operations with Japanese corporations in the Southeast
In the latest plan discussed among the parties, MUFG will
make a tender offer to acquire 51 percent stake from GE and
others and merge its Thailand operations with Bank of Ayudhya,
said the sources, who were not authorised to talks about the
The deal is likely to be worth about $4.1 billion, the
source said. It would mark the biggest acquisition by Japanese
banks in Asia.
MUFG President Nobuyuki Hirano has said his company is
looking to acquire an Asian bank as the group's hub entity in
the region, much as it has successfully done in the United
States with California-based UnionBank, as Japanese banks seeks
to go beyond wholesale businesses into local retail and small-
and mid-size business banking.
Last month, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group agreed
to buy a 40 percent stake in Indonesian bank BTPN for $1.5
An MUFG spokesman declined to comment.