February 28, 2019 / 5:49 AM / a year ago

Thailand to buy $318 mln worth of new shares in bank merger - finance minister

BANGKOK, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Thailand will buy 10 billion baht ($317.97 million) worth of newly issued shares in the merger between TMB Bank and Thanachart bank, a senior official said on Thursday.

The government is investing because the new bank would be more efficient, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong told reporters.

TMB has signed a $4 billion merger agreement with Thanachart Bank where TMB would offer new shares worth 40 billion to 45 billion baht to its shareholders and 50 billion to 55 billion to Thanachart shareholders, Thanachart Capital and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia .

The combined bank would have assets of 1.9 trillion baht and 10 million retail customers.

The Thai government currently owns 25.92 percent in TMB and Dutch banking group ING holds 25 percent.

The Bank of Nova Scotia currently holds 49 percent of Thanachart bank, and Thanachart Capital holds 51 percent.

ING and Thanachart Capital will hold at least a 20 percent stake in the new entity and the Bank of Nova Scotia is expected to hold a significantly smaller stake. ($1 = 31.4500 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by Stephen Coates)

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