July 6, 2017 / 6:02 AM / a month ago

Thai Siam Commercial halts $3 bln insurance unit sale as talks fail - sources

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, July 6 (Reuters) - Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank has halted the sale of its insurance unit, expected to fetch $3 billion, as talks with potential bidder Hong Kong insurer FWD Group failed on valuation disagreements, three people familiar with the matter said.

FWD, which is owned by tycoon Richard Li, the youngest son of Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, was in talks with SCB, Thailand's third-biggest lender, on the insurance unit deal.

At $3 billion, the deal would have been the largest ever insurance M&A transaction in Southeast Asia, and the biggest in Asia since August 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It was not immediately clear if the Thai bank will relaunch the sale in the near future. Both SCB and FWD declined to comment. The sources declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Anshuman Daga; Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOK; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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