UPDATE 1-StanChart seeking buyers for $350 mln HK pension business-sources

Wed May 13, 2015 10:06pm EDT
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* Second sale of HK business by StanC in less than six months

* Hong Kong' second pension industry M&A in the same time frame

* Potential suitors include Sun Life, Manulife, Prudential others (Adds names of potential bidders, details on Hong Kong pension business)

By Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered plc is seeking buyers for its Hong Kong pension business valued at about $350 million in a deal that would also involve a 15-year distribution agreement with the new owner, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Suitors including Prudential plc, Principal Financial Group, Sunlife Financial Inc, Metlife Inc and Manulife Financial Corp are expected to take part in the auction, the people added.

Any deal would mark Standard Chartered's second sale of a Hong Kong business in less than six months and comes as newly appointed Chief Executive Bill Winters is expected to overhaul the Asia-focused lender which has faced a prolonged slump in profits and regulatory fines.

The sale is not part of Standard Chartered's restructuring but was aimed at offering better services to clients, two sources said.

Standard Chartered and all other companies the sources said were potential bidders declined to comment on the matter. The sources declined to be identified as the discussions are confidential.   Continued...