(Adds Noble Group ; Updates Manulife Financial, Flipkart, Invitation Homes )
Aug 10 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday: ** Hong Kong’s PCCW Ltd has struck a deal to bring in Hony Capital, Foxconn Ventures and Temasek in as investors in its internet media and entertainment unit, the company said.
** Invitation Homes Inc and Starwood Waypoint Homes’ shares both hit record highs after the companies said they would merge to create the biggest single-family rental firm in the United States.
** Payments firm PayPal Holdings Inc has agreed to acquire online lending company Swift Financial in a bid to expand its business that provides working capital to merchants.
** Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s biggest life insurer, on Thursday played down reports that it is exploring an initial public offering of U.S. unit John Hancock.
** Wanda Hotel Development Co Ltd, a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, plans to buy assets worth over $1 billion from firms controlled by its billionaire founder Wang Jianlin, in a move that sent its shares surging over 30 percent.
** Toshiba Corp is still trying to sell its chip business by the end of the current fiscal year to next March, but has not decided what to do if those efforts fail, CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa said.
** Altice, the acquisitive telecoms and cable group founded by billionaire Patrick Drahi, raised its stake in telecoms company SFR to more than 95 percent and is planning a full buyout offer for the remaining shares.
** Britain’s Co-operative Bank said its $900 million rescue by investors was on track to conclude by September and would allow it to grow again, as its first-half losses narrowed to 135 million pounds ($175 million).
** Oman Telecommunications Co. (Omantel) is to buy almost 10 percent of Zain Group for $846.1 million, the Omani firm said in a statement.
** Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is considering withdrawing his support for Twenty-First Century Fox’s attempt to take over Sky, saying the 11.7 billion-pound ($15.20 billion) offer undervalues the British pay TV broadcaster.
** Australian non-bank lender Pepper Group agreed to a A$657 million ($518 million) takeover from U.S. private equity giant KKR, the latest in a rush of players hungry for a slice of the country’s property boom.
** India’s Flipkart has secured nearly $2.5 billion in funding from Japan’s SoftBank Group, giving the online retailer more firepower to compete with Amazon in the country’s burgeoning e-commerce market.
** Britain’s Prudential moved to fend off competition from passive funds, merging its M&G asset management and U.K. and European insurance businesses to save costs and improve its products.
** Thyssenkrupp will not be rushed into any deal with Tata Steel to merge their European steel businesses, its chief financial officer said, pouring cold water on investor hopes for a quick agreement.
** The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday put on hold a decision by its staff approving the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a group led by China-based investors, giving the regulator more time to mull the politically sensitive deal.
** Debt-laden commodity trader Noble Group Ltd recently rejected a takeover offer from Centricus, a London-based fund, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing people close to the deal. (Compiled by Arjun Panchadar and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru)