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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

TAKEOVERCHATTER-Bevy of foreign suitors woo Philippine banks ahead of deregulation, (NYSE: MTU)

A planned law allowing foreign firms to take full control of Philippine lenders is drawing eager suitors to the sector, including Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings, bankers familiar with the matter say.The attraction also lies in the Philippines' emergence as one of Southeast Asia's most rapidly growing economies - one that has sharply boosted personal incomes and demand for loans - while the banking sector is highly fragmented and underdeveloped, making it ripe for consolidation.Others scoping out acquisition opportunities are private equity firms such as TPG as well as Taiwanese banks, the bankers said, adding that targets include Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC). The sources declined to be identified as negotiations were confidential."The Philippines' banking sector is an attractive market for foreign banks and PE funds because it offers the perfect mix of fast growth in individual wealth and investability," said Keith Pogson, Asia financial services leader at accounting and consultancy firm EY.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. is a Japan-based company mainly engaged in the banking business. Shares of MTU traded higher by 0.32% or $0.02/share to $6.28. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $5.19 and as high as $6.81. On average, 1540430 shares of MTU exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2773710.