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Suncorp gets approaches on banking, wealth management units

Monday 6th October 2008

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Suncorp-Metway, Australia's No. 3 general insurer, said it has received approaches from companies interested in buying its banking and wealth management units.

Brisbane-based Suncorp hired Lazard Carnegie Wylie and UBS to assess the proposals, it said in a statement today. Its shares rose 6.3% to A$11.35 and have declined 48% in the past 12 months.

The insurer's stock climbed about 11% on Thursday and Friday amid reports it had been approached by some of Australia's biggest banks. Suncorp may be more vulnerable to a takeover after posting a 50% drop in full-year profit on increased claims and the impact of the global credit squeeze.

The approaches were "preliminary" and may not lead to a formal offer, Suncorp said today.

By Jonathan Underhill



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