DealZone

DealZone Daily

Australian wealth manager AMP Ltd will not seek to extend its exclusive agreement with France’s AXA SA on a joint $11.4 billion bid for AXA’s Australian unit, sources tell Reuters, opening the door for rival bidder National Australia Bank Ltd to start talks with AXA SA.

Shares in Thailand’s Thanachart Capital jump ahead of the announcement of the winning bid for a stake in Siam City Bank (SCIB), for which its Thanachart Bank is the frontrunner. Kaohoon newspaper reports that Thanachart Bank, also 49 percent owned by Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, has put in the highest bid of around $958 million for the 47 percent stake, beating HSBC.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Wednesday:

Dubai World’s investment arm Istithmar has put port and shipping agent Inchcape Shipping Services up for sale for $600 million to $700 million and has attracted interest from private equity groups, the Financial Times says.

Britain’s consumer watchdog has asked for a say in the planned merger of the UK arms of France Telecom’s Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, raising the threat of at least a delay to any deal.

from Clare Baldwin:

Nomura banker says singing for karaoke only

Takeo Sumino, chief operating officer of Nomura Holding America Inc, wants to make one thing clear: neither he nor his Tokyo colleagues are into the habit of breaking into song first thing in the morning at the office.

A Wall Street Journal story in July said that one group of Nomura traders sang a company song in morning meetings.

“Japan created the video game, Japan has created the karaoke culture, but that does not necessarily mean that Nomura as a company will ask people to sing a song every day,” he said, trying to debunk reports of culture clashes between Nomura bankers and their new colleagues at the former Lehman Brothers empire in Asia and Europe.

DealZone Daily

American International Group has agreed to sell it’s Taiwan life insurance unit for $2.15 billion, a key step in its effort to raise cash after a U.S. government bailout last year saved the company from collapse, Reuters reports.

CIT Group Inc is seeing little interest from bondholders in a debt exchange offer aimed at repairing its fragile balance sheet, making bankruptcy increasingly likely, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The following other corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Tuesday: