Higher Price for TMB Helps Shareholders: DBS

Singapore's DBS Group on Friday confirmed that it had made an unsuccessful offer to raise its stake in Thailand's TMB Bank together with Deutsche Bank.

The bank, which has a 16.1 percent stake in TMB, said in a statement to Reuters that the higher price offered by the successful bidder -- ING -- would benefit all shareholders.

"Together with Deutsche Bank we put in a realistic offer to the board of TMB and as a result, all shareholders will benefit from the 25 percent higher price received from the future strategic investor that the TMB Board has selected."

The DBS statement did not give the offer price nor make it clear whether Southeast Asia's biggest lender by assets would remain a shareholder in TMB.

A banking source told Reuters on Wednesday that the DBS-led consortium had offered 1.60 baht a share to buy additional shares in TMB, higher than the initial 1.40 baht offered by ING.

ING said on Wednesday that it will buy 30 percent of TMB for about 460 million euros ($675 million) after the loss-making Thai bank rejected a last-minute rival bid from DBS and Deutsche.

The Dutch group said it will acquire a stake of 25.1 percent in TMB voting shares and a further 4.9 percent either in voting shares or in non-voting shares (through tradable depository receipts).

ING plans to eventually increase its ownership of Thailand's fifth biggest bank, an executive said Friday. "We are looking to increase our shares in the future if possible," ING executive board member Hans van der Noordaa told a press conference. Any increase in ING's stake in TMB would need approval from Thailand's Ministry of Finance, which is also a TMB shareholder.

It was not clear what was ING's revised offer price. The share sale is part of a $1 billion plan for Thailand's sixth-biggest lender.

TMB reported a huge 20.7 billion baht net loss in the first nine months of this year, compared with a net profit of 4.6 billion baht a year earlier.

DBS's investment in TMB has become increasingly painful since it wrote down the value of its stake by S$38 million ($26 million) in the third quarter.