Three Philippine banks said they are considering bids for the government's majority stake in unlisted, medium-sized lender United Coconut Planters Bank - a deal expected to be worth at least 16.1 billion pesos ($360 million).
The Finance Department said on Sunday that in addition to paying for the government's 73.9 percent stake - equivalent to around 1.1 billlion pesos - the winning bidder must inject at least 15 billion pesos in capital.
Security Bank Corp, the country's ninth largest lender by assets, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) and Robinsons Bank Corp, a unit of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc are weighing bids, senior executives at the lenders told Reuters on Monday.
United Coconut Planters is the 12th largest lender in the Philippines, with more than 200 branches and assets worth nearly 260 billion pesos, according to central bank data.
The Philippines, Southeast Asia's fifth largest economy, is overcrowded with around 700 banks, mostly minnows. That compares with the 120 banks in Indonesia, the region's largest economy and double the population of the Philippines.
Interested firms will have to submit documents asking to be qualified as a bidder between June 2 and June 7. Qualified firms will have until Sept. 18 to submit bids.