Japan's SMFG most serious bidder for Indonesia's Bank Permata stake -regulator

JAKARTA, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Bidders for a stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata are now down to two foreign investors, Slamet Edy Purnomo, a deputy commissioner at Indonesia Financial Service Regulator (OJK), said on Friday.

He said Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), the arm of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), is the most serious bidder for the stake in the mid-sized lender which is now controlled by Standard Chartered and PT Astra International, who each own a 45% stake.

“Permata is finalising (the bidding process). It now depends on the shareholders to choose,” Purnomo told reporters.

SMFG’s chances of snapping up Permata have improved after two key rivals dropped out of the race to buy the $2.4 billion-valued lender, sources said earlier this month. (Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)