HSBC Holdings Plc, Bank of Nova Scotia and Hong Leong Bank Bhd. are among bidders for a stake in Siam City Bank Pcl, Thailand’s seventh-biggest lender by assets, four people familiar with the matter said.
Bank of Nova Scotia made the offer together with its local affiliate Thanachart Bank Pcl, which owns 4.9 percent of Siam City Bank, the people said, declining to be identified as the talks are private. Thailand’s central bank is seeking about $1 billion for its 47.6 percent stake, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.
Thailand, wracked by violent political protests in the past two years, is easing restrictions on foreign ownership of banks to encourage investment and boost competition in the financial industry. Siam City Bank’s higher cost of funding puts it at a disadvantage to larger local rivals, said Anne Jirajariyavech, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Bangkok.