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Standard Life unit, Manulife eye HSBC's Indian insurance arm - report.

MANews-(C)2009-2013

10 April 2013 a[euro]" Canadaa[euro](tm)s Manulife Financial Corp (TSE:MFC) and a partially-owned Indian unit of UK-based Standard Life Plc (LON:SL) have joined the bidding race for the 26% stake in an Indian life insurance operation held by HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA), insiders told Reuters.

Manulife and Standard Lifea[euro](tm)s joint venture with Housing Development Finance Corp (BOM:500010), called HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co, are targeting the USD200m (EUR153m) minority interest in Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, which in turn is a JV between HSBC, Canara Bank Ltd (BOM:532483) and Oriental Bank of Commerce Ltd (BOM:500315).

Other interested parties include two other ventures, namely Birla Sun Life and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd, the sources said, adding that first round bids were due last week.

The value of a deal could be raised to USD800m if HSBCa[euro](tm)s partners in the JV decide to shed their interests as well. Even buying just HSBCa[euro](tm)s minority stake would be considered an important move as the purchaser would gain immediate access to around 5,500 branches of Canara and Oriental, the news agency said.

Reuters could not get a comment from any of the parties.Country: IndiaSector: Banking/Financial Services, InsuranceTarget: Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life InsuranceBuyer: Manulife Financial Corp, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co, Birla Sun LifeVendor: Canara Bank Ltd, Oriental Bank of Commerce Ltd, HSBC Holdings PlcDeal size in USD: 200m, 800mType: Corporate acquisition, StakebuildingStatus: Bidding, SpeculationComment: The USD200m price is the reported value of HSBC's 20% stake.

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Publication:M & A Navigator
Date:Apr 10, 2013
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