Friday, March 28, 2008

ICBC still in talks with Bangkok Bank on ACL's stake

ICBC<601398><1398>, the largest lender in China, is still negotiating with Bangkok Bank on the purchase of the latter's 19.3% stake in ACL Bank, according to Kulathida Sibayathorn, executive VP of Bangkok Bank.

Sibayathorn told sources that ICBC is sincere about the deal and Bangkok Bank has not received any updates from the Chinese lender on the market speculation that ICBC may cancel the deal due to global credit worries.

Earlier reports also said the Chinese lender is also seeking for another 30.6% of ALC Bank from Thailand's Ministry of Finance. If both deals are successful, ICBC would hold a 49.9% stake in the Bangkok-based small lender, which was established in 1968 and has a total market value of US$279.4 million.

ICBC acquired Indonesian Halim Bank, Macao Seng Heng Bank and Standard Bank of South Africa in quick succession since the end of last year.

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