(Adds Russian Direct Investment Fund, Bayer SA, Prudential, CEZ, Abraaj Group, Panasonic, Gas Natural, Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA, Italia, Petróleo Brasileiro, Ullink)
Oct 4 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1300 GMT on Wednesday:
** The state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is discussing a possible investment in conglomerate Sistema’s agriculture business, the fund’s chief executive said.
** A unit of Brazil’s competition regulator Cade said the $66 billion takeover of Monsanto Co. by German life sciences firm Bayer AG could be detrimental to competition, a document released on the agency’s website shows.
** Prudential Plc has kicked off the sale of its Vietnam consumer finance unit, which could fetch up to $150 million, as the UK firm sharpens focus on its core insurance business in the Southeast Asian nation, people familiar with the process said.
** CEZ strategy director Pavel Cyrani tells Reuters energy services unit ESCO aims to complete an acquisition in Poland by year-end or early 2018.
** Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group said it made an investment in Pakistan’s top cinema operator, Cinepax, to drive expansion over the next four years.
** Executives at Panasonic were surprised when Russell Ellwanger, CEO of Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz, asked to partner in three of their factories without putting any cash on the table.
** Spain’s Gas Natural has approved the sale of its Italian retail business to EDF unit Edison while the company’s Italian distribution network will go to 2i Rete Gas, two sources said.
** The government of Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul may sell a non-controlling stake in state bank Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA, according to a securities filing on Wednesday.
** Telecom Italia on Wednesday kicked off the process to sell its majority stake in broadcasting services group Persidera, valued between 350-400 million euros, a source close to the matter told Reuters.
** Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA has sent additional information on several shallow water oil fields to interested parties as it kickstarts the non-binding stage of the asset-sale process, according to a securities filing on Wednesday.
** Bankers are working on debt financings totalling €380m to back a potential buyout of French trading software provider Ullink, banking sources said.
** Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Tuesday it had started the binding stage for a proposed stake sale in the Maromba field, located in the Campos basin, according to a securities filing.
** ESR Pte Ltd, a unit of Asian logistics firm ESR Cayman Ltd, said it had taken an 18 percent stake in Propertylink Group, buying 60.2 million shares via off-market purchases.
** Royal Dutch Shell said it had cancelled the sale of gas field stakes in Thailand to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC).
** Hong Kong developer Chinese Estates Holdings said it holds a 6 percent stake in rival property group China Evergrande, having bought HK$11.1 billion ($1.42 billion) of shares between April and October 3.
** Mexico will offer the rights to partner with state oil company Pemex on three major projects on Wednesday, one in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and two more onshore, the latest step in opening country’s oil and gas industry.
** Australian fund manager QIC has reached a deal to buy out 10 regional malls in the United States from its joint venture partner Forest City Realty Trust Inc on behalf of a client which it did not identify.
** Malaysian state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or Petronas, is looking to sell some oil and gas assets owned by its Canadian unit Progress Energy, its adviser BMO Capital Markets said.
** Norway’s Statoil is taking its first step into the solar sector, partnering up with Oslo-listed renewable energy firm Scatec Solar in a joint venture aiming to build several large-scale solar plants in Brazil.
** Portugal’s state-rescued Novo Banco said it has secured bondholders’ approval for a discounted debt buyback, a key condition for completing the sale of the lender to U.S. private equity firm Lone Star.
Compiled by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru