Mitsubishi UFJ to buy control of Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya

MUFG branch
Image caption Mitsubishi UFJ is looking to make the biggest purchase by a Japanese bank in South East Asia

Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is planning to buy a controlling stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya.

Japan's biggest lender has agreed to buy a 75% stake in the Thai bank for up to $5.6bn (£3.7bn).

If the deal goes through it would be the biggest purchase in South East Asia by a Japanese bank.

The deal would also see General Electric end its investment in Ayudhya, which goes back to 2007 when it bought a 33% stake in the bank.

Attracted by bright growth prospects, Japanese financial firms have been expanding in South East Asia.

In May, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's bought a $1.5bn stake in Indonesia's Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional.

The offer from MUFG still needs approval from Thailand's finance ministry, but in a briefing the Japanese bank expressed confidence that the deal would go through.

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