August 27, 2014 / 3:40 AM / 3 years ago

Taiwan's Cathay Financial in talks to buy 20 pct of Manila's Rizal Bank- sources

TAIPEI/MANILA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holding Co is in talks to acquire a 20 percent stake in medium-sized Philippine lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corp , people with knowledge of the discussions said.

The purchase would further Cathay’s expansion plans in Southeast Asia, the sources said. Rizal has previously said it was studying options to sell a stake to raise capital.

Cathay Financial declined to comment on the matter, but a regulatory official in Taiwan said the group was planning to purchase a stake in a Philippine lender.

Rizal Bank President Lorenzo Tan told Reuters he could not comment on the transaction as this time. The sources declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that Cathay was in talks to acquire a stake in Rizal.

Reporting by Emily Chan and Faith Hung in TAIPEI, Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA and Saeed Azhar in SINGAPORE; Writing by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Miral Fahmy

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