SCB X weighs options for $1.5bn asset management unit

SCB X weighs options for $1.5bn asset management unit

SCB X Plc is considering options including a sale of its asset management unit, people familiar with the matter said, amid growing industry consolidation in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

SCB X, formerly known as Siam Commercial Bank Plc, has been speaking with financial advisers to explore a potential transaction for SCB Asset Management Co, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A potential deal could value the business at US$1 billion to $1.5 billion, the people said.

Other industry players have shown preliminary interest in SCB X’s asset manager, the people said. Considerations are at an early stage and SCB X could still decide against pursuing any deal, the people said.

“Given the strategic importance of asset management, the company regularly evaluates strategic options, proposals, and opportunities which may involve consultation with external advisors,” SCB X said in an exchange filing on Monday. “Such discussions are in early stages and there is no certainty or assurance that any such transactions may occur.”

In another statement later Monday, SCB X said reports that it’s considering a sale of the asset management business are “unfounded”, though it assesses strategic alternatives as part of its regular business operations.

SCB Asset Management was set up in 1992 and manages mutual funds, provident funds and private funds, according to its website. Its net asset value under management reached about 1.6 trillion baht ($44 billion) as of the end of May.

Banks in the region are seeking to raise capital by selling non-core assets, while some asset managers look for growth via mergers and acquisitions. 

Kasikornbank Plc has also been weighing options including a sale of its asset management unit amid interest from potential buyers including Europe’s largest fund manager Amundi SA, Bloomberg News has reported.

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